Ok, the question still screams, why did the City vote on an issue outside of its jurisdiction?
In a front-page story the Press-Register says the Mississippi state attorney general will not drop the case against a former Clarksdale Public Utilities employee charged with nine counts of embezzlement. Maple Melton allegedly transferred over $1800 from various accounts to pay her personal utility bill and those of others between August 2012 and June 2014; she has been out on bail since being indicted in December 2015. The case has been set for trial many times but continuances…for reasons ranging from severe weather to the unavailability of a key witness…have been granted many times, including one this week. If convicted on all counts Melton could face up to 100 years in jail and fines of nearly $9000.
ClarksdaleNews has received numerous comments on this, all pretty much asking the question why did the City vote on this in the first place, and who brought it to the City for the vote? Commissioner Bo Plunk is on record that the mayor was behind the vote. Plunk claimed that the mayor said the attorney general’s office called him, which may have been the case, but it is possible that they did not directly ask for the City to rule on a judicial matter.
Another question was why did our City attorney not advise against the City taking such a vote?
Former mayor Bill Luckett also received a call and talked to the attorney general’s office, and he too did not get the impression that they directly asked the City to intervene in the matter either. Plunk also said the he called the attorney general’s office himself, and that they allowed that the mayor called them. Commissioner Ken Murphey said he also can see no reason for the City to have become involved.
Most that ClarksdaleNews talked to about this claimed that this was nothing but a “political show,” but none expressed how this questionable vote could help anyone politically. More, we suspect, will be revealed.