Okolona councilmen accused of holding an illegal special-called meeting

CHICKASAW COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI)- Councilmen in the city of Okolona are accused of holding an illegal special-called meeting.

Mayor Sherman Carouthers said four councilmen and the city attorney scheduled the meeting on Friday.

However, the Mayor said the criteria to discuss city business weren’t met.

According to Charter, the city council can’t hold regular meetings more often than twice a month.

However, the president or any three councilmen, in the mayor’s absence or indisposition may call a special meeting.

Mayor Carouthers said the board met earlier this month on June 8th, but several members did not attend due to the general election.

Candidates for election are not allowed within 150 feet of the ballot box to campaign. That included Council members running for re-election.

Carouthers tells WCBI, statute 23-15-577 states each candidate has the right to be present at the polling place.

On June 15th, Carouthers received a request from the city council to review and approve pending documents.

Councilmen said after the mayor rejected the request, they saw it fit to continue as planned.

But the Mayor says he has not been absent – nor indisposed.

On June 25th, the council discussed matters such as removing city cameras, approving the audit of the electric department, and 2021 fiscal year budget–later going into executive session for 30 minutes.

” They were only three days left in this administration, and it was asinine to even concoct meeting. The question is why didn’t you show for your regularly scheduled board meeting by ordinance that you took under oath. I started this administration in 2017. The new administration will have the authority over those minutes. They can nullify everything that has transpired here today.” said Mayor Sherman Carouthers.

“Our attorney he told us we can call a meeting which is in the statute. We had the mayor to call a meeting and he said he wasn’t calling the meeting, but you know we got a pay bills and he was nonchalant and didn’t want to do it. So we said we have to do this and we called the meeting that’s what we did today is have the meeting and be through with it,” said Ward 2 Councilman, Bennett Moore.

Okolona’s city attorney declined to comment to WCBI.

A new administration will take office in Ward 1,3,4,5 and 6 on July 1st.

Ward 2 councilman Bennett Moore is elected for another term.

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