Alabama mayor, councilman fight during meeting at city hall

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- The mayor of Alabama's largest city got into a fight with a city councilman during a meeting Tuesday, sending both men to the hospital.

See Full Article

A video of the council meeting captures sounds of a man repeatedly shouting "No!" from outside the council chamber before the presiding member calls for a recess.

Members scurry past double doors decorated with Christmas wreaths toward the noise as the gavel slams down, and a perplexed look crosses the face of a man who was making a presentation.

After the dust settled, Mayor William Bell and Councilman Marcus Lundy both had minor injuries. The council meeting ended early. A man dressed up as Santa Claus sat slouched in a chair outside council chambers afterward while police lingered in the hallway.

A police report identifies Bell as the victim and says Lundy is accused of assault. Birmingham police spokesman Sean Edwards said in an email that a warrant had been issued for Lundy's arrest Tuesday night.

Bell and Lundy were in a room behind council chambers discussing a city matter and Lundy charged at Bell and started cursing at him while discussing a personal issue, the police report said.

According to the report, Bell told police he turned and tried leaving the room three times, but that Lundy closed the door each time before grabbing him by the neck from behind and putting him in a chokehold.

Two of Lundy's assistants came into the room to break up the scuffle but refused to give interviews with police until after they spoke with legal counsel, police said.

Bell suffered bruising on the right side of his neck and swelling in his left knee, the report said. Bell's spokeswoman April Odom said the mayor underwent a CT scan and an MRI after the fight. Council President Johnathan Austin showed photos of scrapes on the back of Lundy's left leg during a news conference.

A city council attorney told investigators Lundy would not immediately give police a statement. Austin said Lundy told him that he planned to file charges against Bell.

Odom said Lundy recently had to return the city vehicle he was driving because the law prohibits council members from having municipal vehicles. It's unclear whether that factored into the confrontation, she said. An audio recording from a committee meeting on Monday captured a terse exchange between city councilmembers and the mayor's chief of staff about the procedure that was used to retrieve the vehicle.

Austin said Lundy alleges Bell called his place of work trying to get him fired. Odom denied that. Austin also accused Bell of being unwilling to work with the council and said the confrontation was likely the culmination of the deteriorating relationship.

"This right here is ridiculous," Austin said. "We can overcome this and we can do better and we will strive to do better as a council."

Councilwoman Kim Rafferty said there have been ongoing power struggles between Bell, 66, and the council.

"Boys need to grow up and be men and do the job they were elected to do," she said. "They need to sit across the table and talk about conflict resolution."

Bell, a former council member, has been mayor since 2010. He briefly spoke at a law enforcement training session on active shooters that included a mention of workplace violence before the council meeting but missed a chamber of commerce luncheon afterward.

Lundy, elected in 2013, has worked as an executive with several companies. He is chairman of the council's Economic Development, Budget and Finance Committee.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Mexican president congratulates Trump in phone conversation

    World News CTV News
    Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump walks with Mexico President Enrique Pena Nieto at the end of their joint statement at Los Pinos, the presidential official residence, in Mexico City on Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016. (AP / Dario Lopez-Mills) Source
  • Ex-Dragons’ Den star Arlene Dickinson addresses political aspirations

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    TORONTO - “They’re wrong, I’m not running.” Entrepreneur and former Dragons’ Den star Arlene Dickinson has denied a report that a run at federal Liberal politics might be in her future. “Nothing could be further from the truth. Source
  • Bus carrying students on ski holiday crashes and burns, killing 16 [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    ROME — A bus carrying Hungarian school students home from a skiing trip to France slammed into a highway barrier in northern Italy and caught fire, killing at least 16 people, police said Saturday. Thirty-nine people survived, though some were seriously injured. Source
  • ’Sisters of the north’ join Women’s March on Washington [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    WASHINGTON — Hundreds of Canadian women, many of them wearing pink knit hats or carrying signs emblazoned with the maple leaf and the slogan “sisters of the north”, filled the sidewalks of Washington, D.C. Saturday morning as they made their way to a massive rally for women’s rights. Source
  • Protests around world draw hundreds of thousands of women [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    WASHINGTON — Wearing pink, pointy-eared “pussyhats” to mock the new president, hundreds of thousands of women took to the streets in the nation’s capital and cities around the world Saturday to send Donald Trump an emphatic message that they won’t let his agenda go unchallenged over the next four years. Source
  • 3 men presumed dead after snowmobile breaks through ice on Nunavut cargo run

    Canada News CBC News
    One man is confirmed dead and two others are missing but presumed dead after their large Bombardier snowmobile broke through the ice near Whale Cove, Nunavut on Saturday morning. Another man also fell through the ice but survived. Source
  • Signs from Women's Marches around the world captured on social media

    World News CTV News
    On Donald Trump’s first day as president, people from around the world marched in solidarity for women’s rights. Many took to twitter to support the cause or explain why they were marching. Additionally, a large number of them shared some of the best signs they saw or brought to the protests. Source
  • New Jersey man owes more than $56,000 in tolls

    World News Toronto Sun
    TEANECK, N.J. — Transit police say they’ve arrested a New Jersey man who avoided paying tolls nearly 900 times and owes more than $56,000 in unpaid tolls and fees. Port Authority of New York and New Jersey police say an officer stopped Alesandel Rodriguez’s car Friday morning after it failed to post a payment in an EZ-Pass lane on the George Washington Bridge. Source
  • 'Scariest moment': Former pro mountain biker speaks out after sudden paralysis

    Canada News CTV News
    A former mountain biker who found himself suddenly paralyzed in his Vancouver home is speaking out, saying he had to wait 40 minutes for an ambulance to arrive. Andrew Cho, 29, was out for dinner with friends on Jan. Source
  • Women's March on Washington route changed after massive turnout clogs streets

    World News CBC News
    A massive turnout at the Women's March on Washington has forced a change of plans. With the entire planned route filled with hundreds of thousands of protesters, organizers can't lead a formal march toward the White House. Source