Mayor regrets back and forth over bribery accusations but stands by claims

Published: Mar. 7, 2022 at 6:33 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Monday, Jackson’s mayor spoke out on explosive allegations of bribery targeted at certain council members. His comments have been met with rebuke from the council and disappointment from citizens.

One week after Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba accused Council Members Kenneth Stokes and Ashby Foote of accepting bribes, the mayor said he regretted the back and forth and the distractions.

He said disapproval flowed on both sides. The mayor’s comments come after the council passed a resolution disapproving of his bribery claims.

“I do not feel that my accountability is to the council members,” said Lumumba. “My accountability is and always will be to the residents of Jackson, and I do not apologize for that.”

The mayor also criticized the council for what he called disrespect to his chief of staff and city attorney, even though they are not elected officials. The resolution also accused the mayor’s staff of disrespecting and threatening the council.

Claims were made during the briefing that the mayor’s security had intimidated council members. Lumumba said that he has seen intimidation happen both ways.

“That is all problematic. Right to the extent that anyone’s effort is to intimidate anybody,” said the mayor. “No, I do not support it. I don’t believe that merely putting your phone up to record because there are things that we go back and make sure we have documentation on to know what was said and what was not said.”

The council has called for unity and transparency.

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