Robertson speaks to Okolona Aldermen

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailOKOLONA – Aldermen took no action after a hearing was held Nov. 12 with former Okolona Assistant Chief of Police Romona Robertson who was terminated from her job with the city Sept. 10.

Okolona aldermen met in executive session for more than an hour to discuss personnel matters and Robertson’s hearing was part of that closed-door discussion. Robertson was found guilty of driving under the influence, speeding and disorderly conduct following an eight-hour trial in Chickasaw County Justice Court in May.

“They have several employees who have been arrested for felony DUI and they are still driving city vehicles,” said Robertson, after Tuesday’s meeting with aldermen. “I don’t think I have been treated fairly.”

Robertson said while the employees she referred to were in their private vehicle, she said they were still on the city payroll. She also said her arrest in December 2012 in rural Chickasaw County was part of a conspiracy and the four videos presented at her trial had been tampered with.

“The board took no action following executive session and this hearing,” said Okolona Mayor Louise Floyd-Cole. “I have no comment at this time.”

The charges against Robertson were filed in District 1 Justice Court on Feb. 5, by Mississippi Highway Patrolman James Burrow. Burrow and Trooper Cindy Searcy stopped Robertson on Dec. 7, on Highway 32 just east of its intersection with Highway 15, prompting the case to be heard in the Houston Justice Court.

During the trial Burrow said he clocked Robertson driving a white Okolona Police Department Challenger at 77 miles-an-hour in a 55-zone and watched her cross the centerline several times. Searcy said she found 18 pills, later determined to be hydrocodone, in a blue unmarked bottle in the driver’s door pocket of the patrol car.

The pills were later ruled to part of a 150 pill prescription written by an Okolona physician.

Robertson said the stop was part of a conspiracy and repeatedly said she was not speeding, had back problems that prompted her unsteady walk, dental surgery that prompted her slurred speech and complied with all reasonable requests of both officers.

Videos showing Robertson staggering, refusing to take a drug test, talking excitedly and later crying and cursing were shown at the trial.

Marshall County Justice Court Judge Earnest Cunningham found Robertson guilty of three of four misdemeanor charges. Chickasaw County Justice Court Judges, citing the political nature of the case, recused themselves, prompting Cunningham to be brought in from Marshall County to render a verdict.

Robertson was terminated from the force on a 5-1 vote that saw Ward 3 Alderman Eldridge Lowe cast the lone vote in Robertson’s favor.

Robertson said at the May trial she was no longer working with the Okolona Police Department and was on medical leave due to a job related injury.

Robertson’s legal problems had political ramifications and longtime Okolona Police Chief Tommie Ivy was defeated by current Okolona Police Chief Willie Moore in municipal races this summer. Ivy attended Tuesday’s city board meeting but did not meet with aldermen in executive session.

Robertson was accompanied into executive session by her cousin, Regina Lyles Echols, who is also a nurse.

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