Jackson Council says city won’t pay if mayor decides to appeal judge’s decision in veto case

Published: Jul. 19, 2022 at 4:30 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - If the mayor wants to challenge a judge’s recent ruling on veto power, the Jackson City Council says he’ll have to pay for that appeal out of his own pocket.

Tuesday, the city council voted 5-2 to deny any request from the mayor for authorization of pay and/or city resources for an appeal of the June 8 ruling handed down by Judge Larry Roberts.

On June 8, Roberts ruled that Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba did not have the power to veto a negative vote by the council.

The mayor told reporters following that meeting he was considering appealing. And at a media briefing on Monday, said he was still looking into it, saying he had 30 days to make a decision from the time the written ruling was issued.

The ordinance was introduced by Ward 3 Councilman Kenneth Stokes.

The council made the decision in an executive session. Voting in favor of the measure were Councilmembers Ashby Foote, Kenneth Stokes, Vernon Hartley, Aaron Banks, and Virgi Lindsay. Opposed were Councilmembers Angelique Lee and Brian Grizzell.

According to a copy of the measure, “it is in the best interest of the citizens... that the citizens are not continuously being asked to pay for the mayor to carry on with this garbage contract issue that has already been heard and decided by the court in favor of the Jackson City Council.”

Lumumba could not be reached Tuesday afternoon.

Also in executive session, the council voted 6-1 to maintain its current attorneys to represent it in the latest case filed in relation to the city’s garbage-hauling controversy. Opposed to that measure was Grizzell.

Those attorneys are Deshun Martin and John Scanlon. They previously represented the council in other cases, including in its challenge against the mayor over his veto powers.

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