MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - Mayor Sandy Stimpson has filed a lawsuit against the Mobile City Council.
He's trying to stop the council from rehiring its communications spokesperson Marion Steinfels. She was fired by the mayor in a surprise move in October, but the council has since tried to rehire her.
According to Mayor Stimpson, the issue goes deeper than a personnel move. He said he's trying to establish, through the courts, that only the executive branch of the Mobile city government has the power to hire.
Stimpson also said the lawsuit has nothing to do with recent battles with the council, but he believes the lawsuit, if allowed to move forward, will help delineate the powers between the city council and the mayor's office. He said that will allow the executive and legislative branches of city government to "stay in their lanes, but still work together."
FOX10 News reached out to council members for their reaction.
City Council Vice President and District 2 representative Levon Manzie released a statement saying, "I'm surprised the Administration has chosen to spend taxpayer dollars to prevent us from simply having the additional support and capacity of one individual. The City Council is clearly within its rights. While I never thought this would actually go this far, I'm hopeful the Council will prevail."
District 6 council member Bess Rich wrote, "I am saddened that the Mayor would waste City tax dollars by taking the City Council to court over hiring a Council Spokesperson. Where is the harm of having one individual to help Council members communicate with our residents? What was the point in trying to get a restraining order against the Council?"
The judge denied the restraining order and told the City Council they cannot move forward on the issue until representatives from both parties meet in court on December 14th.