EUTAW MAYOR FIRES 3 POLICE OFFICERS
Outgoing Eutaw Mayor Hattie Edwards fired three city police officers Monday, leaving the police department asking: Can she do that?
Greene County District Attorney Greg Griggers confirmed the firings today. At least two of those officers’ termination notices referenced false police reports as the reason for their firing.
Griggers said Edwards’ actions were inappropriate, and said he’s never heard of any mayor having the authority to hire or fire city police officers without a vote from the City Council or input from the city’s chief of police.
Edwards was ousted in last week’s mayoral runoff against former Eutaw Mayor Raymond Steele, and many residents, including fired Officer Robert Clayton, think that loss may have something to do with her actions.
Clay said he has not had a positive working relationship with Edwards, but hopes better days are coming.
“Of course we want our jobs back more than anything,” he said. “But I think the general public of Eutaw needs to know that what the mayor was doing. Because certain citizens can get arrested and certain ones can’t, and (the public) needs to know that. The law applies to everybody.”
Clayton said around 4 p.m. today that he’d heard the mayor may have changed her mind and the officers who were let go may be placed on paid administrative leave instead of losing their jobs.
Clayton also said he’ll be turning himself in to the Greene County Sheriff’s Department because Mayor Edwards issued an arrest warrant against him for harassment.
The Eutaw City Council is discussing the issue tonight at 6.