MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - A legal battle is underway in Prichard over the job of police chief.
Jimmie Gardner is challenging the mayor's authority to fire him. Both sides were in court Monday.
Several witnesses were called to testify in the hearing that could determine the fate of Jimmie Gardner as Prichard police chief.
Gardner is challenging the letter of termination he received from the city's new mayor on December 20. According to Gardner, he can't be fired without four consenting votes from the city council. He also claims the termination letter was sent in retaliation for the ethics complaint he filed against Mayor Troy Ephriam earlier in the month.
"No comments, please. Thank you," Gardner said.
While Gardner didn't want to talk to reporters after the hearing, City Attorney Jerome Carter did. According to Carter the law is on the mayor's side, because Gardner's original contract had expired.
"When he had a valid contract back in 2010, Nov 20, 2012 it terminated, and that gave the mayor the opportunity to simply release him, and that's what he did peacefully. That's what he did. Was this brought about because of the ethics charge that he brought against Mayor Ephriam? It has no basis," Carter said.
Without a contract, Carter said a council vote was not required. But at least one council member disagrees.
"I can't speak for other council members. Certainly, he has my vote. He does have my vote based on performance. I do think he does (have a valid contract)," Ossia Edwards said.
From the witness stand, Gardner told the judge as far as he's concerned he's still the police chief in Prichard, and he said he's ready to go back to work.
But, Gardner will have to wait a little longer for the judge's answer. For now, the restraining order keeping Gardner off city owned property until the issue is resolved remains in place.
Judge Charles Graddick has asked attorneys on both sides to submit written briefs on their arguments by Friday. He did not indicate when he would rule on the matter.
Ten University of South Alabama football players were honored with the release of the 2013 all- Sun Belt Conference teams on Wednesday, December 11, and Jaguar head coach Joey Jones was selected the league's Coach of the Year.
An arrest has been made in the robbery to the Country Breeze convenience store on Old Pascagoula Road in Grand Bay.
The Fairhope Police Department recently arrested three young men in connection with multiple cases of burglaries in town.
Three people are dead after a shooting near the University of South Alabama Tuesday, December 10. Mobile Police said China Barber, Augustus Bennett, and Robert Sprinkle were the victims of what police call a murder-suicide.
Mobile police have released the names of three shooting victims. Police say the shooting was the result of domestic violence.
Bay Area Food Bank, Christian Food Pantry, and American Flooring and Cabinets join together to feed families in need this Christmas season.