Mayor Arnell Willis presented the Helena-West Helena City Council Tuesday evening a resolution calling for the censure of two council members found guilty of misdemeanor offenses in District Court.
Mayor Arnell Willis presented the Helena-West Helena City Council Tuesday evening a resolution calling for the censure of two council members found guilty of misdemeanor offenses in District Court. Willis referred to the actions of council members Christopher Franklin and John Huff as “inappropriate behavior.” Council member Wanda Crockett asked why Willis felt that the city council has determined that aldermen Franklin and Huff had, by their conduct, degraded the good and decent voters of Ward 3 by their actions. “We as a body have not determined anything,” stated Crockett. Willis stated that if it was the wish of the body to disregard the censure that was fine but he went on record proposing the resolution because of “the disgrace, unbecoming trust and respect” displayed by the aldermen. Willis referred to a previous censure attempt by former council member Marvin Jarrett against Joe St. Columbia for alleged inappropriate racial comments. Franklin and Huff remained professional in the matter. “We settled this matter Thursday, as well as with the individuals that were present in the previous meeting that behaved as we did but I feel that this issue was handled in the upmost respect for this body,” commented Franklin. Franklin was in court April pertaining to charges ranging from attempting to influence a public servant to terroristic threatening. Franklin was convicted on 5 of 6 allegations. Franklin was found guilty of harassing communications, harassment, attempting to influence a public servant, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. Huff was found guilty of contempt of court and resisting arrest. The court handed out almost $2,500 in fines and court costs between the two councilmen. The council took no action on the resolution.