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Former Kansas City councilman dies

08/14/2013 10:30 AM

08/14/2013 1:46 PM

Former Kansas City councilman Charles Hazley

has died.

He was 71 years old.

For two decades — the 1970s and 1980s — Hazley was considered one of the most important and powerful politicians in Kansas City. He was heavily involved in the politics of the inner city and the African American community, and of

Freedom Inc

., the influential black political club.

“He championed the cause of the poor people of Kansas City like no one else ever has,” said former city councilman and colleague

Mark Bryant, who confirmed the passing .

“And was a warrior in the city council chambers each and every week.”

Steve Glorioso

— who often butted heads with Hazley — called him “the most effective African American council person in my lifetime.”

Hazley chaired the council’s powerful Plans and Zoning committee for years, helping bring projects to the area like the Marriott Hotel (then known as the Vista) downtown.

Hazley also ran into trouble during his time on the council. In 1988 he pleaded guilty to a charge of failing to file a tax return, and served less than a month in federal custody.

He left the council in 1991 because of newly-enacted term limits, but remained active in city politics behind the scenes.

More as we get it.

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