Newell admitted to meeting with Coomer after expressing initial interest in applying for the police chief vacancy during an open meeting at city hall.
Newell said that while he initiated the conversation to get the meeting together, it was Coomer who actually scheduled it. During the meeting, which Newell said he simply saw as an opportunity to gain name recognition with the mayor, Newell said Coomer discussed his managerial philosophy.
According to Newell, Coomer said customer satisfaction was his No. 1 priority and that he had only one vote on the City Commission.
Newell said Coomer never promised his vote, and the meeting lasted no more than 15 minutes.
Crowley testified that despite several training sessions about how Danville's government should work, Coomer acted unethically during the process of hiring a new city manager. He alleged Coomer asked him to abandon the hiring process and hire then-interim city manager Paul Stansbury to take the job.
After a series of tense discussions with the mayor, Crowley said he hand-delivered a letter addressing grievances, to which he received no response. This, Crowley said, prompted him to address the issue at the City Commission meeting in May.
Crowley said he believes Coomer met with other applicants for the city manager and police chief positions without the knowledge or consent of the commission.
Coomer's attorney, Bill Johnson, questioned Crowley's motives.
"Would you say you're a fan of the mayor's?" Johnson began.
"I have no personal grudge against Hugh. But I am not a fan of the way he's approached the duties of his office," Crowley responded.
"Do you think you could do a better job than the mayor?" Johnson asked next.
"I'm not sure that's relevant, but I'm sure I would have attempted to follow the rules," Crowley said.
* In Count 6, Coomer was accused of making threats to Stansbury regarding going forth with the wishes of the commission. Stansbury said the mayor asked for a private meeting, and during the meeting the mayor said the lines of communication between the two officials were not strong enough.
Stansbury said Coomer alluded to "not having fired someone soon enough," which Stansbury believed was an insinuation that Coomer had some kind of control over his job. Stansbury said he perceived this as a direct threat.
The incident occurred in December, but Stansbury did not bring up the issue to the commission immediately, alerting the city's human resources director instead.
* Count 7 alleged that Coomer made an appointment to the city's Beautification Committee against the will of the group the appointee would represent, the Heart of Danville.
David Senn was the Heart of Danville's representative on the committee for years, but as Director Julie Wagner testified, he called her to inform her his term was up on Feb. 9.
Wagner said the group voted to reappoint Senn to the committee on Feb. 14, and Wagner called Stansbury and Coomer's secretary on March 11 to inform them.
"I wanted to make sure we all had a correspondence," said Wagner.
Coomer, however, cited a lapse in time from the expiration of Senn's term, decided to find someone else to fill the appointment, and even turned in his choice's application to be a Heart of Danville member. That person has since attended no meetings of the group, according to Wagner.
Johnson pointed out that there is no direct language in the city's ordinances saying the Heart of Danville - or any other agencies with appointments on the committee - would have to approve of a mayor's appointment, and that Coomer, in the end, does have the power to make appointments to the board over agencies of that kind. His appointment must be approved by the commission.
Currently, the Heart of Danville's representation on the beautification committee remains unfilled.
* Count 8, which the ethics board heard on July 28, alleged that Coomer interrupted and interfered with the contractor performing the streetscape work at the corner of Second and Main streets, in front of Burke's Bakery, resulting in the contractor leaving the job.
In wrapping up the ethics proceedings Monday, Johnson and Bryan Bowman, the city's legal counsel, both offered closing arguments.
Johnson said the three commissioners from whom the ethics complaints originated had hard feelings against the mayor. Johnson also downplayed the charges as "no harm, no foul."
Following Johnson's closing, Bowman offered his opinion that in the realm of ethics, you don't need harm to constitute a foul.