Hannibal City Council votes unanimously not to retain city clerk

Angel Zerbonia

Angel Zerbonia

HANNIBAL, Mo. — Hannibal City Council members unanimously voted Tuesday not to retain Angel Zerbonia as city clerk.

The vote was taken during a closed session meeting on Tuesday after the regularly scheduled City Council meeting.

Zerbonia had been on paid administrative leave since November 2022 and under investigation by an independent third party since January. She had been the city clerk since October 1998 and her salary was nearly $83,000.

The news comes three days after Jim Hark announced he was stepping down immediately as the city’s mayor. Hark had been mayor since 2016. In a letter addressed to the Hannibal City Council, the city clerk and city manager, he cited additional responsibilities in his full-time job at a local towing company as the reason for his departure.

Mayor Pro tem Mike Dobson, who is also the 2nd Ward councilman, took his seat as acting mayor during Tuesday’s Hannibal City Council meeting. 

Issues about Zerbonia were first addressed publicly at the Hannibal City Council meeting on Dec. 20 when a number of Hannibal residents expressed concern regarding conduct by Zerbonia. Central Services Director Andy Dorian sent an email in July 2022 to other department heads stating he could no longer work in an environment where Zerbonia is allowed to do “whatever she wants and to make life hell for the rest of the employees.”

The email was made available to members of the media by 3rd Ward councilman Stephan Franke.

In the email, Dorian said he was going to start looking for employment elsewhere. He eventually took a job at Hannibal Regional Hospital in December, but he eventually returned to his old position with the city.

City Attorney James Lemon said during the January 4 City Council meeting that the situation involving Zerbonia brought attention to a lack of checks and balances in the city clerk’s office. He explained all city employees are under the management of City Manager Lisa Peck except Zerbonia.

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