Man says harassed by PDBy MARLAN JONES,
The Mendenhall Mayor and Board of Aldermen had their regularly scheduled meeting on Feb. 6.
Jacob Niblett appeared before the board to express complaints against the Mendenhall Police Department. Niblett complained about an ongoing situation with his ex-wife involving picking up and dropping off his children.
He explained to the board that he had been between the Mendenhall Police Department and Simpson County Sheriff’s Office in attempts to file a complaint and make statements against her. The situation involved the exchanging of their children. He said that the two agencies continued to give him “the runaround,” and that one officer in particular had personal ties to the situation. Niblett also stated that this officer refused to accept his statement and that since then he has been constantly harassed by the Mendenhall Police Department.
The harassment he described included being followed and officers being parked across from the E-911 building, where he exhanges his children with his ex-wife. Mendenhall Police Chief Candy McCullum was present and told the board that he personally took Niblett’s statement and that the issues between him and his wife were not a criminal matter, but for the courts to handle.
City Attorney Wesley Broadhead also advised Niblett that he would have his day in court. McCullum addressed the claims of harassment by Mendenhall Police Officers and asked Niblett if he had been stopped. Niblett said, “Not recently, but I have.” McCullum asked where the officers were parked across from the E-911 building and Niblett said in the Dollar General parking lot.
McCullum explained that officers routinely patrol businesses in that area and assured him that he was not being followed or harassed. McCullum said, “They’re not following you. They don’t know who you are or what you drive.” The board ultimately advised Niblett that his issue would be settled in court.
The board approved donations to the Mendenhall Library for the summer reading program. Liberty Marketing submitted packets to the board about the production of Simpson County Maps. Questions arose concerning the cost and number of maps the city would receive. The item was tabled until next month.
The Mendenhall High School Band requested the use of the armory for a band banquet. Alderman Robert Mangum expressed that he had no problem with the school using the armory, but he questioned why the city had no insurance on the building. He said, “I know the school is free the county is free, but we have a million dollar building sitting up there without insurance.”
Mayor Todd Booth explained that after speaking with the city’s insurance representative, the two decided that it was more cost effective to not insure the building at this time. Alderman Tim Gray also stated he was for allowing the band to use the armory, but questioned the legality of the request since it was made by the band booster club. Broadhead agreed that allowing a booster to use the armory without charge would be illegal, and that the request should be made through the school.
The board reviewed the change in the city’s fire rating and also approved Tiffany Wallace and Tasha Millis to attend training on February 26-28. Wallace will also attend a second training on March 7-9.
Internet service provider Point Broadband was seeking to end their contract with the City of Mendenhall. In the past Booth spoke of the importance of providing Wi-Fi services to citizens in places like Main Street, the Mendenhall Sportsplex, and the city park. The city began working with Point-Broadband to provide these services. Contracts and agreements were drawn up and eventually agreed upon. Other city’s such as Florence and Magee are also working with the same company according to Booth. Booth explained that since Point Broadband has been established in town they have failed to uphold their side of the agreements.
They have also failed to generate interest from the public. Booth said that the company only managed to sign 2 people up for their services in Mendenhall and was seeking to break the contract and pull out of Simpson County. The board approved and gave the company 30 days to remove all equipment.
Luther Daughdril was terminated, Jason Smith was hired to rubbish, and Jason Cooper was hired for grass cutting. The public works department reported the successful purchase of two new vehicles before the board entered into executive session to discuss personnel.