MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - A city executive who may be in hot water over some letters he wrote recently was supposed to meet with the mayor and an angry city council member Monday May, 6, but that meeting didn't happen.
FOX10 News obtained copies of letters written in April by John Bell, the Executive Director of Public Services in Mobile.
One of the letters was written to the council president, who Bell accuses of trying to smear his integrity. However, in the letter Bell calls some council members' integrity into question saying they make decisions based on race.
While those heated letters and responding letters were circulating at Government Plaza, Bell was out of town on vacation.
City spokesperson Barbara Drummond said city officials received an email from Bell over the weekend.
"We understand he had a little bit of a family emergency so he's actually traveling back to the city. So, he's traveling today, and probably will be back in the office tomorrow," Drummond said.
One of Bell's angry letters regarding Storm Water Management was sent to Council President Reggie Copeland, who questioned storm water expenses and the company Mobile Group, which is minority owned.
In the letter Bell wrote: "I have to conclude that Mr. Richardson was correct when he indicated council action was a matter of skin color."
FOX10 News also talked with Council President Reggie Copeland Monday. He said he'll only agree to meet with Bell after Bell makes a public apology to himself and Council Member Bess Rich.
We talked to Rich following the Tuesday, April 30 city council meeting.
"Did you find them offensive?"
"Yes, very offensive," Rich said.
"What specifically offends you about what he said?"
"That I vote on racial lines, and that I'm also incapable of learning or understanding," Rich said.
It does not appear that the controversy is going away anytime soon.
"Both the mayor as well as the council president are waiting to meet with Mr. Bell. So those meetings haven't taken place as far as I know," Drummond said.
Most of the officials involved in the letter controversy will be at Tuesday's regular city council meeting.
FOX10 News will be there and will let you know what happens.
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