Prichard residents concerned after Mayor's staff member fired after financial audit
MOBILE, Ala. (WPMI) —
Prichard city council met for the first time Thursday since Mayor Jimmie Gardner fired his executive administrative assistant James Blackman.
Gardner says he found financial irregularities during a city finance audit.
"I want you to know that I do take responsibility, it's on my watch so I do take responsibility but unfortunately things of this nature do happen all over the place," Mayor Gardner said at the meeting.
Gardner told city leaders and citizens it won't happen again.
"I assure you I will continue to work hard for our citizens, do the best job I know how and ensure that the city's finances are safe," he said.
The allegations about city funds being taken have sparked conversations among citizens.
"There has to be accountability," Prichard community activist Mario Cannon said.
Those like Cannon say stealing money is the last thing the city needs because it already has financial struggles.
"This city has always had financial issues and to have city employees add on to that it's a sad situation," he said.
Cannon says this is yet another issue that's causing citizens to worry.
"I got seven phone calls yesterday in reference to this situation and the people are actually uneasy," he said. "They're actually scared. We had an issue with public safety not too long ago that situation is getting better but for these issues to keep compounding and adding on top of themselves it does not take us forward it takes us backwards."
The city council did not talk to media or comment on the issue.
As far as how much was stolen, Gardner didn't give a dollar amount but he said it was thousands.