MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) – Two days after Mobile’s Mayor and city council retreat, the two sides met again in court Friday.
The city council’s lawyer says this is just the beginning of this legal fight, and while the case stemmed from the hiring and firing of a city council spokesperson, this case could go far beyond that.
Mayor Sandy Stimpson’s lawyers argue the council’s decision to re-hire spokesperson, Marion Steinfels, after the mayor fired her is a direct violation of the Zoghby Act, saying in court this is a power grab by the city council.
The city council’s lawyer arguing back that there’s been an abuse of the contracts made by the mayor’s office to the tune of $4 million.
Both sides say they’re seeking the clarity of the law.
“This was necessary though, is to resolve it for the long-term, so that we’re not having to re-visit this issue year-after-year. So that’s what the court can do, providing a ruling that gives some account of permanent answer to this question of the separation of power,” said George Talbot, with the Mobile Mayor’s office.
“Everything has been amicable so far, but there are a lot of issues that are of concern to the city council I’m sure the issues that are of mutual concern to Mayor Stimpson. We’re in the right place to get the decisions made to really move the issue forward,” said Councilman Levon Manzie.
For now, the judge said the city council spokesperson can resume her job on a volunteer basis. They’ll be back in court likely sometime after the holidays.
WKRG News 5 has learned the judge has ordered the council and mayor to try and resolve the matter in mediation.