Aberdeen mayor files charges against local officials

From the Boardroom to the Courtroom

ABERDEEN, Miss (WCBI) -Drama continues to unfold at Aberdeen City Hall.

The mayor has filed charges against one sitting alderman and one former alderman.

This latest uproar surrounds a court ruling over the Ward one set.

From the boardroom to the courtroom is where some of the Aberdeen Board of Aldermen are headed.

The Ward One seat has been the center of controversy for over a year. Nicholas Holiday originally won the seat. That was appealed and recently, the state Supreme Court ruled the lower court should not have ordered a new election that gave Robert DeVaull a victory.

Fast forward to September 20th and Mayor Charles Scott says Holliday sat down at the alderman table ready to do city business but he claims that was not legal.

There are laws that have to be obeyed, and ignorance of the laws is not an excuse. But the most important thing I like to see going forward is that we recognize that when we have at the table, the seat should be taken care of because you were voted on by the citizens and those citizens deserve to have someone there to work them and represent them in the best appropriate matter,” Mayor Scott said.

The mayor then says Alderman Lady Garth re-directed the escorting deputy amid the mayor’s orders to remove Mr. Holliday from the serving Alderman seat.

Now, Scott has charged both Holliday and Garth with Conspiracy to prevent holding a public office or discharging their duties by use of force and Disturbance in a public place.

Holliday is also charged with impersonating an elected official and violating the oath of office.

Aberdeen police and the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department were called to the meeting, according to Scott’s affidavit.

“There is a decorum that we are supposed to maintain in our board meetings. Along with that decorum, there are laws that cover our board meetings. For those that will violate being able to do the business of the city. So it is our responsibility to do the business of the city without interruption,” said Mayor Scott.

WCBI’s legal expert, Jeff Hosford, tells us how those charges weigh out in court.

“The biggest factor in all the charges they face is going to be the fact that one of the charges is a felony, and that carries up to 5 years in prison and up to one thousand dollar fine,” Hosford said.

A person convicted of a felony in Mississippi is not allowed to hold public office.

However, Hosford says filing charges is just the beginning of the process.

“Whoever is charged definitely has the opportunity to prove themselves innocent, and there be many defenses in the case, and then there might not be. Obviously that is determined by the facts and circumstances, but at the end of the day, what is going on is going to be determined whether or not it causing somebody to be charged with the crime and be convicted or just charged with this crime and found not guilty, “Hosford said.

Holliday and Garth did not return our messages for comment today.

They are scheduled to appear in Monroe County Justice Court on November 15th.

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Categories: Crime, Featured, Local News