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Tensions arise at city council meeting over city's attorney

Tensions were high this morning as the Meridian City Council voted on whether or not to keep Glover, Young, Hammock, Walton, and Simmons, PLLC as the city’s attorney.

“This isn’t the forum to try and do a “gotcha” and pull in some out of context discussion, because if you want to do that then we need to bring Mr. Davis in and sit down in an orderly fashion.” -William Simmons

“They like to continue to say that I’m looking for “gotcha moments”, but I think that it’s fair game that if they’re willing to tell lies in front of a judge and misrepresent the council and the council’s beliefs and what the council would like for them to do, then it’s only fair that I do the same to them publicly and at least hold them accountable for their actions.” -Weston Lindemann, councilman, Ward 5

Councilman Weston Lindemann, who represents Ward 5, says that it was brought to his attention that there is a trust issue with the attorneys, because he claims he has court records showing they have misrepresented the city in the past. He says the other members of city council have these documents as well, but that they didn’t care to comment on the matter.

“To me it seemed as if they didn’t really care that the city attorneys are willing to lie to a judge on our behalf, or that they’re willing to not disclose all the information that they should to the city council. To me, it’s a big deal that we rely on the city attorneys to give us legal opinions and advice, and if we can’t even believe what they’re saying then it makes it difficult to conduct city business.” -Lindemann

Mayor Percy Bland said in a statement that if Lindemann continues to make comments against the attorneys and other city employees then he needs to move forward with proof. The mayor then said he and his administration will continue to try and move the city forward. Simmons, who was speaking during the meeting on behalf of the firm, claims Lindemann was bringing up a case from 2012 and that he could not comment due to it being open litigation.

“But I’ve had instances where I’ve been invited out to receive a sales pitch on why I should sell Witherspoon school before by Mr. Simmons in particular. So, it’s things like that, that when I’ve asked for their help with drafting an ordinance, I’m ignored and then I’m asked to come out and listen to why they think I should vote a certain way on a particular issue.” -Lindemann

Though the back and forth between Simmons and Lindemann continued for quite a bit, the council ultimately voted to keep the firm as the city’s attorney for another year, with Lindemann being the only one to vote against it.

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