City clerk ousted by mayor and city council

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 8, 2004

DEMOPOLIS – Conspicuously empty in Thursday’s first regular city council meeting was the city clerk’s desk in council chambers.

Long-time City Clerk Vickie Taylor was placed on administrative leave Monday by Mayor Cecil Williamson.

“All I can say is that she was placed on administrative leave,” Williamson said.

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Taylor, contacted at

home by phone, said she did not have a statement regarding her ouster.

In her place, the council appointed Paula Rich acting city clerk for 90 days, a move District 5 Councilman Jack Cooley said effectively meant Taylor was out of a job. He said according to the League of Municipalities, if the council did not reappoint a clerk then the clerk was out of office.

Taylor was hired by the city in 1986 as the accounts payable clerk, and was appointed city clerk in 1996. Before coming to the city, Taylor had been a city clerk for Faunsdale for four-and-one-half years.

Williamson would not elaborate on the move following the council’s meeting which included two executive sessions, nor would she specify any reasons for Taylor’s dismissal.

She did say that as mayor, she had the authority to oversee the city’s administrative staff.

By law, the council must appoint a fire chief, a police chief and a city clerk at the beginning of each term. Other city department heads, Cooley said, are not statutory appointments.

Council did reappoint Jeff Manuel as the city’s public safety director and acting police chief until a permanent police chief can be hired, and Fire Chief George Davenport was reappointed.