Meigs' troubles continue; mayor arrested

Meigs' troubles continue; mayor arrested

MEIGS, GA - The small town of Meigs just can't seem to get a break. Its city government has seemed dysfunctional for a long time, and now Mayor Linda Eason-Harris has been arrested on a theft charge.

Wednesday, police took her into custody, and said she stole money from City Hall, after they realized $80 was missing from the water payments receipts.

When The Chief of Police questioned Harris about the money she said she used it for a trip. The Sheriff's Office reported Harris  was then arrested for theft but Mayor Harris said she didn't feel well.

"She was arrested by Meigs Police Department but the Sheriff's Office wanted to request it and requested her to be released until the investigation could be further," said Sheriff's Captain Steve Jones.

"She was taken for a medical condition that she complained of last night during the altercation of the incident and was transported to the hospital," said Jones.

The Sheriff Office said they released Mayor Harris due to medical conditions and for further investigation.

Just a week ago, Lori White started a petition to recall the Mayor, and the city manager quit.

"They need a new mayor in the city, a mayor that will be concerned about the city," former City Manager Sidney Perry said.

Both White and former City Manager Perry say that the mayor is a road block because of how she conducts herself with the former manager and city council. Mayor Linda Harris see's things differently.

"It's a conspiracy it's a conflict of interest, and even in the work place here," Mayor Linda Harris said.

Mayor Harris says that she does have enough supporters to back her.

In September, WALB reported that the City of Meigs was in danger of losing its insurance, which expires on November 15th. The mayor says the company sees Meigs as too much of a risk, after having to pay settlements with five former employees who resigned and sued the city.

"We can't hardly meet the bills already," said Mayor Linda Eason Harris, Mayor of Meigs. "So if there's an accident or something, we just can't have city employees uninsured.  The city can't go uninsured at all because we don't have money to pay anybody if someone gets hurt."

The City Manager says a local agency and the Black Mayor's Caucus are getting bids from other companies and will present three options to the city soon.

In January, Mayor Harris was scheduled to go on trial for stalking, but the charges were dropped based on a lack of evidence. Former acting mayor Cynthia Chaney accused Harris of stalking her in December of 2013. Harris was banned from City Hall until the disposition of that case.

Also in January, Councilwoman Stephanie Battle was charged with criminal trespass.  Attorney Tommy Coleman said the dispute began after the Mayor wanted to remove bank statements and other documents from City Hall.

When the City Manager refused, Battle attempted to intervene on the Mayor's behalf. Coleman said, "This is part of a continuing saga in Meigs of conflict between the members of the council and the members of the staff."

The Police Chief asked Battle to leave several times, and when she refused, he arrested her.

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