There were actually two votes. Council botched the first vote after violating the Sunshine Law when the vice chairman rammed through an agenda that lacked any public comment. Council members eventually voted 4-2 to hire Coslett to investigate Dixon at a rate of $200 an hour. Council did not set a cap on how much the investigation may cost.
The majority of councilmen believed Dixon's felony convictions disqualified him from holding an elected office. The stigma of a conflict of interest hung heavy as the council hired a taxpayer-funded attorney to hunt a perceived political foe.
Dixon, a decorated Vietnam vet, acknowledges in 1976 he was charged with and later pleaded guilty to counts of burglary and drug-related offenses. He spent a year in jail. He was also charged with a federal crime, but his attorney couldn't determine if it was a felony-graded charge.
Since his time in jail, Dixon has married, had two children, coached little leagues, has been promoted seven times over the 25 years he's worked for UGI and according to a document provided by his attorney, was the top vote getter among four candidates in the 2011 municipal election.
"There were thousands of us that came back and we just couldn't adjust," said a teary, broken-voiced Dixon. "It's not my fault. If I had to do it all over again, I would still serve my country."
Dixon spelled out the alleged motives of his colleagues on council, claiming they're using taxpayer money to fund a witch hunt to remove him from office. Then, he says, they'll be able to appoint a person of their choosing to his seat.
Borough council had initially set an emergency meeting for Saturday, but the lack of a quorum forced them to meet at a regularly scheduled meeting.
Ron Kobusky, vice chairman of council, attempted to place the vote to hire Coslett ahead of public comment. Eyewitness News objected and asked that council's decision be properly reflected in the meeting's minutes.
Council backed up, listened to about 30 minutes of public comment and re-voted to investigate Dixon.
"Bottom line is you're telling people to disregard the law," Coslett angrily shouted at the crowd. "We have had enough of that. We have had enough of that in the County of Luzerne."
Coslett balked at the length of time it has taken the district attorney's office to respond to at least three letters he says were sent by Plymouth leaders inquiring about Dixon's eligibility. He said the first one was sent in February. The district attorney has the discretion to initiate proceedings to inquire about the eligibility of an elected or appointed official.
A first assistant district attorney responded to a question for comment writing that the matter was still open and no conclusions had yet been made.
In the meantime, as the majority members of Plymouth Council were undertaking efforts to unseat Dixon, he successfully received a unanimous 5-0 pardon from the Pennsylvania's pardons board, according to his attorney, Jim Haggerty. The recommendation awaits approval by the governor's office, according to Haggerty.
The members of council who voted to hire Coslett couldn't account for their votes when questioned after the meeting.
Councilman Al Petcavage repeatedly told Eyewitness News to speak to the attorney, referencing Coslett. When pressed about his vote, Petcavage told this reporter "don't push it." Pushed further, Petcavage closed the conversation saying, "have a good night."
Dixon said he feels a tremendous amount of support from tonight. "I'll keep fighting."