Former Meridian Community Development Director Bunky Partridge has filed a lawsuit against Mayor Percy Bland and Chief Administrative Officer Richie McAlister. Partridge claims in the lawsuit that after the mayor hired McAlister, he began harboring animosity and malice towards him. Partridge claims he went to the mayor about the harassment, but that nothing was done.
Mayor Percy Bland says, “this has nothing to do with Richie McAlister. This has to do with the decisions that a mayor makes in continuing to form his teams to make progress in the city, and that’s what this administration is about, and that’s what this administration will continue to be about. So, I have no other comments about this matter because its probably going to be a legal matter, but its just the cost of doing business. Being a mayor, these things will happen, but this case has no merit.”
After a couple of months, Partridge claims he was sent home while the mayor looked into the allegations. He says he was then called back and forced to resign.
“I had some conversations with Mr. Partridge, and at the time, he thought it was in the best interest to resign, so he retired from his position as community development director.” -Mayor Bland
Mayor Percy Bland says in their meetings every week that sometimes department heads don’t agree with the mayor and the CAO, but at the end of the day it is his decision to take the city into what he believes is the right direction.
“One of the things in government is that the mayor has to make decisions as it relates to his team, and the bottom line of it is Mr. Partridge is no longer with us, and I have no other comment to make about this pending lawsuit but to say that the mayor has to make some tough decisions. Of course, in making tough decisions, sometimes this is what happens. At the end of the day, Mr. Partridge resigned from his position as director of community development.” -Mayor Bland