Omaha Councilman Vinny Palermo permanently stripped of VP title

The Omaha City Council voted 5-1 to remove him from the vice presidency.
Omaha City Councilman Vinny Palermo has been stripped of his vice president role.
Published: May. 2, 2023 at 2:43 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Vinny Palermo remains on the Omaha City Council despite sitting in jail, but is no longer the council’s vice president.

Councilmembers voted 5-1 to permanently remove his title, with Councilwoman Juanita Johnson voting “no.”

“I stand for fairness, equity, and due process,” she said. “Voting yes would be against my moral compass.”

The vote echoes last week’s, when the council voted 5-0, with Johnson abstaining, to temporarily remove Palermo’s leadership title.

Councilman Palermo, who stands accused of federal fraud and corruption charges, is currently detained in the Saunders County Jail.

“(Palermo’s) not going to be able to perform his duties,” Councilman Brinker Harding said Tuesday.

Palermo’s attorney told 6 News on Monday that the councilman would not provide a defense Tuesday during the hearing. Many have called on Palermo to resign, but his lawyer said he won’t be doing so.

First steps taken to recall Omaha City Councilman Vinny Palermo

The councilman representing southeast Omaha has been in federal court facing federal charges including wire fraud.

City Councilman Vinny Palermo represents Omaha's 4th District, covering southeast Omaha.

As of now, Omaha’s Dist. 4 is unrepresented on the City Council. A judge’s decision to detain Palermo until his trial date means his seat will likely remain empty for three months.

Meanwhile, the City Council vice presidency will remain vacant until the next leadership election, set for June 6.

Watch the City Council meeting

Digital Director Gina Dvorak contributed to this report.