Controversy in Fairfield as mayor shuts down city offices

FAIRFIELD, AL (WBRC) - Fairfield Mayor Ed May II is shutting down Fairfield City Hall, the city's magistrate office, the civic center, and the parks & rec department "until further notice."

The notice posted by the mayor blames the city council's decision to defund some personnel positions, but in a statement to WBRC, the city council calls the mayor's actions "unlawful" and says there are employees who can do the work of what they call "unauthorized employees" they say the mayor illegally hired.

City Council president Eddie Penny says the city is on the verge of financial collapse. The council recently defunded a handful of city positions to try and save a little money. The mayor went ahead and paid those employees anyway.

The council then filed a restraining order to stop that and won. That forced the mayor to shut down city hall and the municipal magistrate's office, among other services.

"They are defunding positions where people are being utilized to bring in revenue," Mayor May said.

Penny says the defunded positions don't play a critical role in city government. He's working to try and get city hall back up and running.

"We felt like some of the positions was filled without the council's we took appropriate action," Penny said.

Mayor May says council members are making decisions behind his back in "clandestine" meetings.

"They meet at Applebees, you know but they don't have actual committee meetings according to the open meeting here at city hall," May said.

Penny says the mayor is keeping council in the dark about city finances.

"The mayor has not been attending council meetings. We have not received proper financial report. He doesn't even allow to staff members to attend," Penny said.

There seems to be a lot of finger pointing right now.

"It would be nice if we could get on the same page but we have to sit down and look at what we think is in the best interest in the city," Penny added.

Penny wants the district attorney and attorney general's office to investigate the city's finances. May denies he's hiding anything and says council has access to financial records.

Copyright 2018 WBRC. All rights reserved.