Council member proposes launching an investigation into CAO Richie McAlister

Just a few short weeks ago, the Meridian city council in a 3-2 vote decided to eliminate the current Chief Administrative Officer Richie McAlister's salary. Mayor Percy Bland quickly issued a veto. At last night's city council meeting, the city council voted to override the veto, which would need a 4-1 vote. However, the vote was once again 3-2. Shortly after the failed attempt in overriding the veto, Councilman Weston Lindemann, who was in favor of the override, proposed launching an investigation into McAlister.

“The council as a whole can authorize an investigation, and, then, individual council members can go and interview employees. We can request documents and emails—any thing we need to determine whether or not the actions of the chief administrative officer have been something that we would like to continue, if there’s anything that needs to be reported to the state auditor’s office, and things like that," said Lindemann. However, in response to this proposal, the mayor simply said it's time to move forward. “We’re going to work together, and that’s that. You know, we talked about a $126,000,000 consent decree for all of thirty seconds to a minute, and we talked about that situation for over an hour. I mean, we’ve got to move forward," said Mayor Bland.


“Well, if nothing else, I’m concerned that the mayor does not see the same issues that we see. Either he doesn’t see it, or he doesn’t care, and, either way, that’s very concerning. I really think once we get into these employee interviews in particular, we’re going to find out about a whole lot of issues that we haven’t even known about so far," said Lindemann. The council will table this decision while looking into the legal ramifications of it all. Councilwoman Fannie Johnson and Councilman Dr. George Thomas were the two "no" votes in overriding the mayor's veto.

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