GLOSTER – (AP) The court case is over and the town elections are done, but Mayor Billy Johnson and Police Chief Danny Meaux continue to be at odds.
At the town’s board meeting this past week, Johnson criticized Meaux for rarely showing up to work since a judge ordered him reinstated as chief in March.
In turn, Meaux claimed the mayor has a grudge against him because Meaux arrested his son last year.
The Enterprise-Journal reported Meaux sued the town last year after Johnson twice vetoed his promotion to chief. This past March an Amite County Circuit Court judge said the vetoes were invalid and ordered the town to reinstate Meaux with a year’s back salary.
“The whole issue is that I arrested his son. It was a personal issue,” Meaux said.
In February 2012, Andrea Johnson, 31, was arrested for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, resisting arrest and assault on a police officer.
Mayor Johnson said he didn’t know Meaux was involved in the arrest.
He did know Gloster police officer Terry Boss was, yet Johnson supported Boss for police chief instead of Meaux.
“If my son breaks the law, arrest him,” Johnson said. “I’ve never had a grudge against anybody that arrests my son or anything. That’s not the first time my son has been arrested. That happened before and I didn’t have any grudge against them. Those people have a job to do and they’re going to do it.”
As for not showing up to work, Meaux said, “I’m burning time up that was given back to me in the court order. It should run out right around July 1st.”
He said he has covered shifts when someone called in sick, and town residents still call him to report crimes.
“Nothing has changed. Every shift is being covered,” Meaux said. “I’m still working on the cases over there.”
Meaux, a deputy for the Amite County Sheriff’s Office, said he works on Gloster cases in conjunction with the Sheriff’s Office and the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics. He said he helped arrest nine people in Gloster on drug charges recently.
“It’s a personal issue he has with me and nothing has changed, and that’s why I took the vacation time till after the election, to see where I stand,” Meaux said.
Johnson defeated challenger Bill Adams in the June 4th election to maintain his mayor’s job.
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