UNION SPRINGS, AL (WSFA) - The mayor and the city council of one local community are at odds. It has to do with a police officer in Union Springs, who had been terminated by the mayor, but re-instated by the council twice.
It didn't take long for the issue that's been debated for months to come up at the city council meeting Monday night.
"I'm at loss to the situation we find ourselves in relation to Officer Williams," said Saint T. Williams, Jr., a city council member. "Our Mayor has not followed the direction of the council."
Mayor John McGowan ordered the termination of Police Sgt. Nathan Williams. But again, council members voted to reinstate Sgt. Williams, with a stern warning to the police chief.
"We're using this authority to let you know that if the police manual is not followed that you can be terminated by this council," Williams said.
"Once we leave here his direction comes from directly from the mayor," McGowan said in response. "His direction cannot come in conflict with what we just decided," retorted Williams.
Nathan Williams is the same officer that arrested the mayor in December 2009 for DUI and interfering with government operations.
According to attorneys, McGowan's DUI trial ended after the jury couldn't come up with a verdict. The Union Springs Herald reports no date has been set for a new trial in the case.
After the meeting, McGowan wouldn't talk to WSFA 12 News. He referred all questions to his attorney Julian McPhillips.
"This can go back and forth several times more, unless they can come to some reasonable agreement," McPhillips said. "We think the mayor was well within his rights to terminate Nathan Williams because Williams have had several complaints against him."
People in Union Springs want the mayor and city council to settle their differences over the issue.
"It's a situation that has gone on far too long and the quicker we can settle our differences amongst the councilmen, and the mayor we can move forward with this entire situation," said LaDerrick Caldwell, who attended the meeting.
Judging by comments on both sides, it's not likely the issue will go away any time soon.
Copyright 2011 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.
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