SELMA, AL (WSFA) - A Selma city councilman who turned himself in Friday, the day after police signed a warrant for his arrest, has been released after paying a $1,000 bond.
According to Selma Police Chief Spencer Collier, Councilman Samuel Randolph, who represents the city's Ward 5, is charged with public lewdness, a Class C misdemeanor that can carry a sentence of up to a year in jail.
Alabama state law described public lewdness as an act in which a person "exposes his anus or genitals in a public place and is reckless about whether another may be present who will be offended or alarmed by his act; or does any lewd act in a public place which he knows is likely to be observed by others who would be affronted or alarmed."
"We are not talking about a murder here or a serious assault, however we are talking about something that shocks the conscience. I have children. I don't want my children driving down the road and seeing grown men relieving themselves on the side of the road," said Collier.
In Randolph's case, the charges stem from an April 1 incident on Broad Street in which several narcotics officers were on a surveillance detail when they observed the councilman stop his vehicle. The officers reported Randolph then got out of the car, appeared to expose himself, relieve himself, and urinate in public.
According to Collier, a patrol officer was sent to make a traffic stop, and he reported Randolph smelled of alcohol, but he was not tested for sobriety, and no DUI charges were filed.
"The patrol officer reported that the subject, who turned out to be Samuel Randolph, had an odor of alcohol. However, no standardized field sobriety test was done," said Collier.
Because of that fact, no DUI charges were filed. After reviewing state law and speaking with a judge, Randolph was charged with public lewdness.
"I think our officers did the right thing. We did our research, consulted with a judge. It is important to remember that the judge ultimately reviewed this and said yes this is a crime," Collier said.
Collier makes it clear no matter who you are, you have to obey the law.
"I don't know what the atmosphere or culture has always been. What I can tell you is under this administration we are going to treat elected officials the same as we would treat anyone else," he said.
The office of Mayor Darrio Melton said he has no comment at this time.