Because when you live in a house with a padlock on the front door, that’s one heck of a lot of money. Yes folks, the Juan Chastang problem simply will not go away. (Riley appointed him to fill the seat on the Mobile county commission vacated by the election of Mayor Sam Jones; Dems protested mightily; Merceria Ludgood was elected by a landslide in a special election; the Repubs took it all the way to the US Supreme court, and won.) Now Troy King is weighing in that Ludgood needs to get out, Chastang needs to step in, and oh by the way we owe him a hundred thou in back pay. Troy uses that fancy legal language they taught him up at the law school – “‘any payment of a salary’ to Merceria Ludgood for work performed after August 13, 2008, is ‘at the peril of the county.’” Juan, of course, would only be serving until January when the term ends, and given the size of his defeat in the special election, might not even choose to run again in November. But you know his mouth has to be watering at the prospect of that back pay check.
I would say “meh, what can the guy do in four months?” but this is the man who pumped $50,000 in county money into a smoke-and-mirrors Ciara concert deal. He wanted to use public funds to build condos on the old courthouse site (sorry, it’s a link to the college paper, but that’s the best account of his foolishness I can find right now.) Before he had a chance to strut his stuff on the commission, he allegedly tried to bribe a fellow police officer and had to resign from the force. Then there’s the whole padlock thing – he didn’t actually live in District One in the first place. Juan Chastang – talk about the peril of the county!
I am wondering when Bob Riley will come out with a strongly worded statement urging that justice be served and Chastang be reinstated (with full back pay, of course). Poor Bob. I know District One is a Democrat stronghold, but is Juan really the best African-American Republican you could find? In retrospect, honestly now, did you try as hard as you possibly could?
Oh, and apparently those who sued are going to have to pay the state’s legal fees. I wonder just how much that is and if the Alabama Democratic Party will end up picking up the bill.
EDIT: Chastang can’t run in November, duh. He would have to already have put his name on the ballot.