By Betsy Finklea
The contempt of court case regarding a letter sent to Chief Magistrate Mackie Hayes from the past County Administrator David Mobley stating that he was instructed by then Council Chairman Macio Williamson to hire an African-American for a position in his office was remanded back to Judge Hayes for him to handle by Judge Paul M. Burch at a hearing this morning.
This came after a lengthy address from Judge Burch as well as report from Roland Windham, the expert in local government who conducted a 45-day inquiry into the county. Windham issued an extensive report containing allegations that were reported to him as well as solutions. The Herald is attempting to obtain an electronic copy of this report which will be posted to this website. Windham said the inquiry was an arduous task.
Judge Burch said he knew that a lot of people had expectations of what could happen at the hearing today, but that he was limited on what he can do. He said at the first hearing that matter was basically settled, an apology was issued and accepted. He said the letter may have technically violated his order, but not enough for him to come in with sanctions.
“The ultimate issue to be decided here is going to have to be decided at the ballot box,” said Judge Burch. He also stated that he had striven to be fair, but that this situation had worn his patience about as thin as it can go. He said he was not making threats, but council could take this as a warning–if he received an affidavit stating that his order had been violated, he would issue his own rule to show cause.
More on this story will be in Thursday’s issue and keep checking back for the electronic copy of the report. An e-blast will be sent when this is posted.
By Betsy Finklea