Crosby Mayor Allowed Entrance To Council Meeting After Dispute
The City of Crosby has come to an agreement with Mayor James Hunter to allow him to remain at council meetings. At a meeting on Thursday last week, the city attorney decided to bar Hunter from attending and allegedly threatened police action if he kept trying to get inside.
Edward Shaw, an attorney for the mayor, sent a letter to the city attorney which said: “as Mr. Hunter is the Mayor of Crosby, he not only has a right, but a duty to be present at all Crosby City Council meetings or any proceeding regarding city business. You, or whatever individual or entity instructed you, to remove Mr. Hunter has no authority to remove the mayor from a council meeting or any proceeding regarding city business.”
The letter goes on to threaten appropriate legal action if Mr. Hunter is not allowed to rejoin in future council meetings.
According to Shaw, the Crosby city attorney told Hunter that he could not attend the meeting because of a conflict of interest. There has been an ongoing dispute about arbitration with Jesse Smith, a local police officer who previously faced accusations of misconduct, according to InForum News Service.
Hunter was arrested in March on suspicion of theft by swindle, second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon and lawful gambling fraud crimes.
The council decided unanimously not to appeal the Jesse Smith arbitration decision.
Shaw told Lakeland News in an email that at last night’s meeting, “there was no attempt to exclude Mayor Hunter from any part of the meeting.”
He added that the Mayor and all of the council members were present at the close door session.
Lakeland News has reached out to the other council members and an attorney for the city, but has not received a response.