The upcoming hearing for the Civil Service Commissioners is now set for April 10. Council President George Thomas says the council was surprised to learn this change of date, but it was the prosecuting attorney in this case who requested it, saying he did not know about this until last Thursday and there was not enough time for preparation.
"The attorney that said he was not prepared and did not know about the meeting is from the side that's accusing the commissioners of wrongdoing, and I'm wondering if he's not ready, why did he bring the accusations?" Councilman Thomas questions.
City Attorney Michael Goggans says the mayor's attorneys also had a conflict on that date which led to the rescheduling.. Now it's just a matter of waiting on the documents they need for the case.
"When we originally set the April 3 date, we had anticipated we would have those documents about the middle of last week, giving the attorneys that are prosecuting and defending the case a week or so to prepare," he says.
Goggans says now they have just received those documents.The hearing officer has signed an order to release the documents with certain confidentiality provisions.
The next Civil Service Commission meeting will take place prior to the hearing that's been set for April 10. At their last meeting, the commissioners opted not to take any action, but this time, their attorney Henry Palmer says things could change.
"By law, they're delegated jobs and responsibilities to do, and they have full authority of the law to do that," Palmer says. "Legally, their hands are not tied. At their meeting, they can do what they've been charged with doing."
That meeting is set to take place on April 8. The Meridian Civil Service appeal hearing will be held next Thursday at 8:30 a.m., on the third floor of Meridian City Hall.