City Pays Melton's Legal Fees

During a June 16 City Council meeting, the council voted—without issue or debate—to pay the late Mayor Frank Melton's $37,500 attorney fee in connection with his federal trial for demolishing a home on Ridgeway Street. Stokes, who was a witness in the federal trial, recused himself from the vote, leaving acting Mayor Leslie McLemore, Margaret Barrett-Simon, Marshand Crisler, Frank Bluntson and Charles Tillman with the vote. Crisler—who has opposed paying Melton's fees in the past—voted with Tillman and Bluntson to pay Jackson Attorney John Reeves for his representation of the mayor, providing a majority vote on the issue.

Reeves said he was thankful for the council's quick decision, a stark dissimilarity from its earlier inability to approve Melton's attorney's fees in a state trial for the same demolition.

A major influence in the council's decision could have been Melton's death weeks before federal prosecutors took his case to court a second time after a recent mistrial. Prosecutors dropped their charges when the mayor died days after losing the May 5 Democratic primary.


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