Fairfield Mayor files against Council President - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Fairfield Mayor files against Council President

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FAIRFIELD - AL -

A public battle between the Fairfield Mayor and the City Council President turned into an arrest warrant. The Mayor says the president verbally threatened him and he's taking extra measures to protect himself. 

There has been a history of disagreements at Fairfield City Hall - but at the last meeting, the mayor says the council president called him "sweetie." He asked him not to use that name, then said Council President Darnell Gardner jumped out of his chair and began cursing.

"I felt my life had been threatened and it had," Kenneth Coachman, Fairfield Mayor said.

The fight started during a Thursday committee meeting on the housing authority -
the disagreement between Council President Darnell Gardner and Mayor Kenneth Coachman escalated.

"After I did not answer the question, he then said to me, I'll kick your a$%," Coachman said  "And I said, oh you will? And he went on further to say, 'I'll take you out back and do you in.'" 

"It was fierce, yes it was," Primus Mack, Council member said.

Some councilors told us off camera both were arguing, but Mayor Coachman says he  chose not to respond and instead filed a warrant against Gardner saying he fears for his safety.

"I must protect myself and my family because I have no idea what's on this man's mind," Coachman said. "I was just simply sitting in the meeting."

We went by the Gardner's house to get his side... But no answer.

City leaders say the longstanding disagreement between the mayor and council president is based on whether the mayor should be allowed to vote with the council.

During tonight's meeting, councilman Willie Hardley said Gardner is out of town.
 

"You cannot trust him in any meeting," Coachman said. "He might just lose it at anytime."

"It just got out of hand, a little disrespect for the seat and we just have to respect one another," Mack said. "When one of us looks bad, we all look bad."

"Let's not call each other names and disrespect each other," Councilman Harry Lee, Jr. said. "Let's come together."

The city says it expects Gardner to turn himself in, but Mayor Coachman states his hope is that Gardner resigns.
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