Tempers flared in Macon City Hall after Mayor Jack Ellis told council members Monday that he’s calling for an investigation into alleged wrongdoing by staffers in his office – and that he will not discuss folding the city police department into the county sheriff’s office.
Ellis said he was upset by allegations that his staff had asked the police department to dig up dirt on council members.
“I am troubled by it and I am concerned about it,” he told the council’s Public Safety Committee. “To that end, I am directing the police chief to conduct an investigation, and I want the chips to fall where they may. … We don’t do those kinds of things. We’re never going to do it.”
Ellis said if he’s proven wrong, “I want to know about it so that proper action can be taken.”
Councilwoman Elaine Lucas called the mayor’s remarks “laughable,” which prompted committee Chairman Charles Dudley’s gavel.
“You’re talking about the fox guarding the hen house,” Lucas said later. “It’s almost laughable to assume that people are so stupid that they would fall for this garbage.”
Councilman Rick Hutto said Ellis should have launched an investigation two months ago, when Hutto says he first discussed the matter with the mayor’s office.
At a news conference last week, Hutto, Lucas and Councilman Henry Ficklin accused Ellis of of initiating a slander campaign against them and Dudley.
Also at Monday’s meeting, Ellis said he favors consolidation of the city and county governments but that the top law enforcement official should be appointed – as are chiefs of police – and not elected like county sheriffs.
So, the mayor wants control of the police under him and yet he cannot control the people already working under him? No, that’s not quite right. The Mayor is in charge. Blame resides with the one in charge.
It’s time for Mayor Ellis to go. Unfortunately, he won’t do so until a black voice comes forward to endorse the recall effort. That time is fast approaching, I think.