MILLPORT, AL. (WCBI)- In a packed city council meeting, Mayor Icie Wriley laid out the reasons why she suspended Police Chief Charles White without pay for 3 days.
“Insubordination. He has deliberately not followed protocol. He was asked to do several things and he decided not to,” said Mayor Wriley.
According to the mayor, Police Chief Charles White broke the rules several times.
“The neighboring town got a new policeman from Mississippi, Officer Fowler. And he needed a few hours of training to become certified in Alabama. But the officer (White) decided on his own to invite him to Millport to patrol before he was sworn in. And really that would cause liability and we could be sued,” said Mayor Wriley.
Wriley says Officer Fowler of the Kennedy Police Department handled roadblocks in Millport, something he was not allowed to do. Another breach of protocol involved Chief White having women in his police vehicle while on duty.
We spoke to Chief White who does not deny the claims.
“Yes, I have had females in the car with me. But, that was resolved at the last council. I have used Fowler on roadblocks. She’s sat me down and told me that he couldn’t come to Millport and not even roadblock. I told her I was doing that against my wish (using Fowler) and she said well she’s the bottom line. That’s the mayor telling me that,” said Chief White.
Chief White demands justice from the city council.
“That my suspension be removed from my file and I was suspended without pay. Get my pay back and also that I won’t be micromanaged by the mayor and the town clerk. I answer to the council. I don’t answer to the town clerk for sure,” said Chief White.
We reached out to Clerk Lynette Ogden, who herself, was stopped by one of the roadblocks. She became agitated and refused to speak to us. Shortly after explaining her reasons for the suspension, Mayor Wriley ended the meeting, angering several people in the crowd.
“As our Mayor, we feel like she’s not doing what she should do and how she should do it. Like in the council meeting, she wouldn’t let people speak. There was 9 people I know for a fact tried to get on the agenda for the last 2 weeks and was told they could not be on the agenda. There was not enough room. One person spoke tonight,” said Millport resident Mary Homan.
Several residents had mixed reactions.
“I’m just shocked that a 3 day suspension has sparked negativity. I mean low and behold what would have happened if the man would have been terminated,” said Millport native Reggie Mitchell.
” The Mayor did not have the authority, according to the law to suspend him without review,” said Sonya Price.
” Millport, Alabama just went backwards 50 years. We worked so hard, I ain’t caring about race. And the way we went on tonight, we forgot about God looking at us,” said Michael Brock.
Mayor Wriley says she stands by her decision.
“I had talked to him several times. The suspension was a way of getting his attention,” said Mayor Wriley.
The City Council meets again in 2 weeks.