EUTAW CITY COUNCIL MEETING SEES POLARIZED COMMUNITY
By WVUA 23 Reporter Jack Royer
EUTAW- A Tuesday night Eutaw City Council meeting allowed several residents the opportunity to express concerns about the firing of half the town’s police force. After the firings of three officers became known Tuesday, outgoing Eutaw Mayor Hattie B. Edwards announced the the officers had been placed on paid administrative leave instead.
That terminology didn’t matter to many in attendance during the meeting, who said the town’s safety is being put at risk over political maneuvering between city officials and residents. Some believe the firings and suspensions were retaliation from the outgoing mayor against political enemies, after she lost last week’s municipal runoff elections.
“I was told by a messenger that Hattie Edwards was going to fire my husband” said Chanel Glenn, the wife of one of the police officers placed on leave. “You now see that she has done so.”
Glenn said she openly supported Edwards’ opponent, former Mayor Raymond Steele, who defeated Edwards last week. The tension was underscored by concerns that the community was less safe as a result of the move.
“We have a lot of violence here in Greene County” said longtime Eutaw resident Ora Delroach. “To endanger the community and the officers is an injustice to us.”
It’s unclear if the mayor could face any legal action from her decision, that District Attorney Greg Griggers believes is unprecedented. He said his office is looking into the matter.