ANNISTON, Ala. (WBRC) - The Anniston City Council accepted the resignation of its city manager Jay Johnson on Tuesday in an action they apparently fear will land them in court.
The council announced in advance of the specially called meeting the purpose was to meet in executive session “to discuss with counsel the legal ramifications of and legal options for controversies not yet being litigated but imminently likely to be litigated or imminently likely to be ligated depending on the governing body’s course of action.” They also announced they would take action on what they discussed privately.
After meeting for 30 minutes, Mayor Jack Draper made a motion to approve a termination agreement with Johnson.
"Well, I think I'd just like to say briefly I'd like to thank Mr. Johnson for his service," Draper said.
"I want to thank Mr. Johnson for his service, and I want to say how unfortunate I think this incident really is, it's a very very sad day," said council member Millie Harris.
"I still haven't gotten my apology," said council member David Reddick. "It's been three meetings."
Reddick requested Johnson place a matter over possible loan forgiveness on the agenda for a vote, but Johnson placed it as a discussion item insisting that’s what Reddick requested. Reddick made Johnson promise to apologize if he could prove him wrong.
Two video recordings - one of them by the Anniston Star - both showed Reddick being correct. Reddick said after Tuesday’s meeting that had nothing to do with Johnson’s resignation.
Johnson nodded toward the council at the conclusion of the meeting and left without comment. No one on the council ever gave a reason for Johnson's departure or a reason why they felt so sure it would end up in court.
The council voted to hire Parks and Recreation Director Stephen Folks as acting city manager, then voted to set a salary for him at $130,000 a year for his time of service.