Council members discuss possible CAO investigation

MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Over a month after voting to decrease Chief Administrative Officer Richie McAlister's salary to zero, some members of the Meridian City Council want to investigate his actions on the job.

Ward 4 Councilwoman Kim Houston said some City of Meridian employees would be hesitant to participate in an investigation because they do not want their jobs to be in jeopardy.

Houston says the Civil Service Commission should protect against that, but she feels the commission may be playing sides.

"We hear it often that many of the employees with complaints feel the Civil Service Commission has been compromised because they have been appointed by the administration," Houston said.

Mayor Percy Bland disagrees. He said members of the commission are fair and he wants to move past allegations against McAlister.

"They are there to bring fairness," Mayor Bland said. "Richie McAlister's job performance is not the responsibility of the council."

The mayor said he wishes the city would focus on other things like upcoming projects in Meridian.

McAlister declined to comment Tuesday.