Lipscomb Mayor Arrested, Brighton police call it justified - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Lipscomb mayor threatens legal action against Brighton police after arrest

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Lipscomb Mayor Lance McDade. Lipscomb Mayor Lance McDade.
Brighton Police Lt. Ray Hubbart. (abc3340.com) Brighton Police Lt. Ray Hubbart. (abc3340.com)

Monday night's house fire in Lipscomb and the subsequent arrest of the town's mayor by Brighton police has led to a tug-of-war over power between leaders on both sides.

Mayor Lance McDade was arrested by Brighton police and charged with obstructing governmental operations when he showed up at a house fire in the 5500 block of 12th Street South to question the presence of a dismissed volunteer firefighter. Shortly after, he was taken into custody and hauled to Brighton City Jail, where he was later released on a $500 bond.

"A former employee that I dismissed two weeks ago, she was terminated," said  Lance McDade, Mayor of Lipcomb in an interview with ABC 33/40's Larry Miller. "Lieutenant Janet Lawrence was terminated but she was working the scene."

McDade said Wednesday he was wrongfully arrested and he has threatened legal action against the Brighton Police Department. The mayor said the department was out of its jurisdiction and the female arresting officer had no right to take him or any person from Lipscomb into custody.

"She (the officer at the scene) immediately said I want to arrest you for obstructing governmental procedures. Then I said 'I haven't obstructed you from doing anything. I just made you aware that you are not authorized to allow anyone to be on a Lipscomb fire scene, especially a terminated employee.'" 

Brighton Police Lt. Ray Hubbart had a different version of the events leading up to McDade's arrest. According to Hubbart, the dismissed firefighter was a bystander at the scene and was not there as an employee of the Lipscomb Volunteer Fire and Rescue. He said the bystander assisted with the efforts to put out the flames only after being asked to do so by one of his officers and it was just a coincidence that the person was an ex-firefighter.

"My officers instructed an individual that was in the crowd to assist them in fighting the fire, which that person did," said Hubbart. "We're there to protect property and protect people. Safety issues, you know? We don't have time for any political stuff that he might have on his agenda."``

In response to McDade's question of jurisdiction, Hubbart said when his officers are called to a scene, it becomes their jurisdiction. He said the Brighton Police Department will be fully-prepared to respond to any future legal action the mayor may pursue.


 

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