PRICHARD, Ala. (WALA) - Prichard Police Chief Jimmie Gardner is still top cop for now, after Mobile Circuit Court Judge Joseph Johnston, decided to review documents from both sides.
Gardner was a defendant on Friday in court, a big change from his career in law enforcement with the Mobile County Sheriff's Office and the City of Prichard.
Former Prichard Mayor Ron Davis, who extended the chief's contract in October, said Mayor Troy Ephriam can't fire the chief.
"It takes four council members to fire the chief. The mayor does not have the sole authority to fire the chief," Davis said.
Davis said it also takes four council members to hire a police chief, but only three to renew a contract.
"The chief is a man of integrity, and he is going to do the right thing. I have full confidence in him to do the job and uphold that office the integrity that he has," said Davis.
Attorneys questioned the city clerk Darlene Lewis and Mayor Ephriam's Chief of Staff Eddie Brown.
Each side made final arguments in front of Judge Johnston, after which he called for the attorney's to submit all documents for review.
Afterward, Mayor Ephriam didn't back down.
"In reference to the letter that was sent, it was clearly in accordance with the law and my privy, and my decision based on what's in the best interest for the City of Prichard," Ephriam said.
Ephriam said safety will be maintained at, what he called an acceptable level.
For now, Chief Gardner will continue his position as chief of police.
"We have a tremendous amount of work to do in the city in terms of crime. And I will be on the job doing the best I can do serving the public as I have in terms of fighting crime in the City of Prichard," said Police Chief Jimmie Gardner.
Gardner said he plans to stay until the court or city council rule on his position.
Prichard City Council is scheduled to meet on December 27. Judge Johnston could rule on this case Monday, December 24.
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