The small town of Carbon Hill in Walker County reacted quickly to news that Mayor James "Pee Wee" Richardson was arrested for alleged sex crimes.
The Alabama Attorney General's office released a statement saying Richardson was charged with four counts of first degree sexual abuse, four counts of custodial sexual misconduct, two counts of harassment and one count of soliciting prostitution.
The allegations involved four victims, some who were jailed at the city jail at the time.
"It's a disgrace to our town that a man can be put in that position and to do the things that they say he had done," Ricky Butler said.
Supporters of the mayor were quick to defend him against the allegations.
"I've never heard of him doing anything wrong myself at all and I've known him quite a while," Johnny McGough said.
The probe was going on for some time but many in Carbon Hill were aware of it.
"I thought it was time he got caught. I believe it all along. I've talked to him before and he has been overly flirtatious," Lynn Killingsworth said.
Jasper attorney Thomas Carmichael has filed a federal lawsuit against Richardson and the city of Carbon Hill. Richardson was served with the lawsuit Thursday night in the Walker County Jail. Carmichael claims in the lawsuit that his female client was touched inappropriately by the mayor in his office while the woman was incarcerated at the city jail. The alledged offense took place in the mayor's office.
"He was rolling his chair to where she was at and I would say groped her in a very private area. She jumped up," Carmichael said.
Former state lawmaker and Carbon Hill attorney Ken Guin does not believe the allegations.
"I think part of the political motivation was last night. He was picked up at his home a little after nine. The news media was notified so they could see him get out of the car that is not the normal routine," Guin said.
Guin questions the credibility of the alledged victims. Guin said Richardson is in poor health when he saw him Friday morning.
"He has had a pacemaker put in a few weeks ago. He takes about 16 different medications. He was on oxygen last night," Guin said.
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