FAIRFIELD, AL (WBRC) - Fairfield Mayor Ed May II was removed from office late Monday night and Council President Eddie Penny was sworn in as the new mayor Tuesday night, according to May.
“It’s a coup d'état,” May said Wednesday.
On Monday, May says he found his belongings from his office boxed up. We’re told someone at city hall then called the police chief and another officer to come to city hall if May caused a disturbance.
“I was dismayed and a little bit shocked at the audacity,” May said.
May is in a legal battle with the personnel board over his authority to run the city. May points to state statutes saying he does not have to be at council meetings to form a quorum or to vote.
“The people of Fairfield need to know something about me. I’m a man of God and God put me in this position,” May said.
At Fairfield City Hall, City Council President Eddie Penny spent his first full day Wednesday as mayor after being sworn in Tuesday night.
“I want to thank the city council for having confidence in me,” Penny said.
Mayor Penny said the council has legal opinions that May violated state law by missing so many meetings. He believes May will mount another legal challenge.
“We are going to continue to move the city forward. I think the citizens are aware during the mayor’s absence the council continued to function the way we should function. Continue to pay the bills,” Penny said.
The city council meets Monday night. A court hearing in May’s lawsuit is next week.
Fairfield residents reacted to the news Wednesday night, showing uncertainty of the change.
“I don’t know how this is going to affect the citizens of Fairfield because unfortunately this is what we are used to,” said resident Cedric Norman. "That’s why you see people in Fairfield who have lived here all their lives just pack up and leave. While you have people on the outside saying that’s why I will never move to Fairfield and why businesses don’t want to come here. You have all that turmoil and it’s messy and petty. "