Friday, May 7, 2010

May in Muscle Shoals (Or May Not)

We commented last month on Linda Stanley, the Muscle Shoals magistrate/clerk terminated six months before her retirement date. Stanley was hospitalized at the time of her initial hearing, but Mayor David Bradford chose to continue with the proceedings, upholding her discharge. Tuscumbia attorney Billy Underwood initially stated he would appeal the ruling to the Civil Service Board, but later announced that Stanley had withdrawn her bid to keep the position she had held for the past 25 years.

Since only three days had lapsed between the discovery of missing funds and Stanley's termination, we suggested that Muscle Shoals could find itself on the wrong end of a lawsuit. This was strictly an opinion, but a trusted source from the city assures us that even though the internal audit was done with great rapidity, it left no doubt as to Stanley's guilt. The source further states that Stanley is now working at Sam's Club--a sad commentary on Stanley, but certainly a vindication for the city.


Traveling down the road from Muscle Shoals City Hall to the Police Department, we will revisit the two law enforcement officers accused of brutality toward a prisoner. Our original source had indicated the two employees in question were a patrol officer and a sergeant. We have since learned that it was a lieutenant involved in the melee, rather than a sergeant.

We understand that at least one sergeant was quite distressed by this error, and we offer our apologies. We firmly believe that 99% of all law enforcement officers are honest and do their best to perform their duties under circumstances the average citizen can never imagine. It's sad when these honest officers are driven to violence, and we hope this situation will turn out well for both them and the City of Muscle Shoals.


That brings us to the sheriff's race in Lauderdale County. Terry Holden, currently a Lauderdale County School Board member, is challenging incumbent Ronnie Willis in the Democratic primary. Holden has served six towns during his career, two of them twice--quite a number of job changes. He also has a sketchy attendance record with the Lauderdale Board.

While Sheriff Willis does not cut an impressive figure, and seemingly thinks the Queen's English is John Terry's football team, we feel he is the better of the two candidates; therefore, we endorse Ronnie Willis in the June 1st primary.