Councilman says there is no merit to trespass, tampering allegations
By Dwayne Bremer
Apr 29, 2014, 18:29
Bay St. Louis Ward Six Councilman Lonnie Falgout on Monday said that he and another man did not violate any laws last week when they entered the city yard after hours.
Last week, Bay St. Louis Mayor Les Fillingame announced to the city council that he had requested an investigation into an incident last Monday at the city yard.
The city yard, which is home to the city's public works fleet, is located behind city hall. The yard is open from 6:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Fillingame said that on Monday, April 21, cameras in the city yard picked up two individuals going into the yard area at 4:22 p.m.
"The yard was closed and these two individuals were captured on the camera," Fillingame said. "One of them was a city representative and the other was a citizen. It appeared that the city representative left the area, leaving the citizen there alone. The citizen then, what appeared to be, tampered with some city vehicles."
On Monday, Falgout said that he was at the city council chambers last Monday when a resident came into the office and asked to speak with him about a potential problem.
Falgout said he and the man went outside into the city yard, but were only there for 37 seconds. Falgout said the man took two pictures and they left together.
"I said there was nothing here and if there was a problem, then the police should be called," Falgout said Tuesday.
Last week, former mayoral candidate Jeff Harding told the Sea Coast Echo that he was the other man who went outside with Falgout.
Witnesses who saw the two men at city council chambers said last week that the two men entered the yard together, left together, and were only outside for a short period of time. Falgout said he has discussed the matter with the city attorney and he has called the state ethics commission to self-report the incident.
Falgout said there was no malicious intent and he did not feel that he broke any laws.
Harding on Tuesday said he believes he is being unfairly targeted because of his recent complaints to the ethics commission, the state auditor's office, and the department of transportation.
He said he has retained the services of a local attorney and forwarded all additional questions on the incident to his attorney.
Fillingame said Tuesday that the investigation into the incident is still on-going.