Hinton Mayor Cleo Mathews said City Hall officials appointed by her predecessor have verbally harassed her, and she blames them for Thursday's fight at City Hall.
On Thursday, a police consultant hired by Mathews
was arrested after allegedly attacking Councilman Bobby Wheeler.
...That morning, Mathews, who in 2001 defeated eight-term Mayor James A. Leslie, hired Cyphers to consult with her on local police issues, including overtime and officers' unwillingness to abide by the dress code or patrol the streets on foot instead of in their car.
"But Wheeler was very mad because Cyphers was there," Mathews
said."I do regret that Cyphers got into trouble trying to protect me."
The mayor said state code allows her
to appoint special police officers when necessary.She
was busy with other projects, including funding for a new $6.5 million technology building, and needed help making the police department more efficient.
The confrontation happened right before Mathews
was sworn in as mayor.She
was ordering around City Hall staff, Wheeling said, and he
to stop.Mathews, a former state school board president, denied this.
ordered me to leave city hall," she
comes into work, she
has resorted to avoiding those people who are "verbally abusive" toward her
"Nothing I do is right and they always yell at you," she
said."After a while, you start to work around them and do what you can.But I still feel an elected official should be able to perform her
duties in an unfettered environment."