Atlantic City mayor vanishes amid scandal - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Atlantic City mayor vanishes amid scandal

ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey (AP) -- After the city's scandal-plagued mayor took a mysterious leave of absence last month, fed-up city officials want his office declared vacant.

Mayor Bob Levy called in sick last month and hasn't been heard from since.

A judge was scheduled Tuesday to hear arguments from City Councilman Bruce Ward, who is seeking to have Mayor Robert Levy's seat rendered officially vacant.

That would clear the way for the council to name a replacement.

Ward has called Levy's disappearance "a national embarrassment."

Under federal investigation for embellishing his Army service in Vietnam, a groggy-sounding Levy called in sick to City Hall September 26, climbed into his city-issued Dodge Durango and seemingly vanished.

Anyone who knows where he went is not saying. A spokesman has said only that he's at a hospital.

Meanwhile, Atlantic City's business administrator, Dominic Cappella, says he's in charge.

Levy's lawyer said Monday the missing mayor might have an announcement about the situation soon.

"Within just a couple days, I will have a further statement on the mayor's circumstances," the lawyer, Edwin Jacobs, said Monday.

The mayor of the seaside gambling resort has been mired in scandal for nearly a year.

Last fall, the Press of Atlantic City reported that the Vietnam veteran's claims that he was a member of the Green Berets were untrue. He apologized.

But federal authorities have been looking into whether the 64-year-old Levy made that claim to increase his veteran's benefit payments. Since he disappeared, the city business administrator has been running the city's operations.

Opponents were already gathering signatures in a fledgling recall drive when he disappeared. They criticized the mayor, who took office last year, for his sporadic attendance at city council meetings and his ties with one of three former city council members to plead guilty since last year in a corruption case.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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