The mayor of Columbia claims the failure of the town's police chief to submit paperwork in regard to a traffic enforcement grant will force the money to be returned. Mayor Sandra Lovett, who leaves office next week, made the claims during a press conference held Tuesday.
"Chief (Shad) Floyd could not provide the contact report which shows the date and time each citation was issued," she said. Over the past four years, Columbia has received almost $4,000 to pay officers overtime to enforce traffic laws. However, Lovett said the funds provided by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs must be paid back because of the chief's failure to provide documentation they were spent in accordance with regulations.
Lovett admits she shares responsibility because, for the past four years, she has overseen Columbia's government. The mayor claims she repeatedly asked Floyd to provide documentation to ADECA but the chief refused.
However, Floyd has another view on the matter claiming he completed the paperwork but it was removed from a filing cabinet in the police department. He theorizes it may have been taken by the mayor herself while he was suspended. He claims Lovett has repeatedly tried to terminate him but the council refused to go along with her on the matter.
"It's a very good possibility (because) there were only two people during my suspension that had keys---my officer and the mayor," Floyd said. He claims the rift began after Lovett had a confrontation with a Columbia restaurant owner and he became involved. The chief said he's been written up repeatedly in Lovett's attempt to remove him from the job.
Council member Rhonda Freeman said there has never been reason to fire Floyd. She believes the friction between chief and mayor began with a disagreement regarding a drug dog given to Columbia by the district attorney's office.
Meanwhile, council member Bobby Clemmons called for an investigation by the Alabama Department of Investigation.