Okolona increases police chief’s pay

Chickasaw Stock ImageBy Floyd Ingram

Chickasaw Journal

OKOLONA – Town Marshal Willie C. Moore Jr. will be paid what the former police chief was paid following the threat of a lawsuit and a vote last week.

Moore told the board he had hired a lawyer and was prepared to take the city to court if they didn’t pay him at the same level as former Okolona Police Chief Tommie Ivy. Moore defeated Ivy in city elections this spring and assumed the post in June.

“You owe me money on three checks,” said Moore. “You can settle it here or we can settle it in court.”

Aldermen had voted to reduce the amount Moore was paid, citing Ivy’s years of service.

City attorney Gene Barton said the city could follow an attorney general’s opinion and not pay Moore. While Okolona’s town marshal is a freely elected official, the pay of all city officials is set by the board of aldermen.

As city marshal Ivy was paid $42,500 a year or approximately $3,542 a month.

“I move we pay the money the former chief was paid,” said Ward 3 Alderman Eldridge Lowe. “It should have been left alone and we made a mistake when we did this.”

Lowe’s motion was supported by Ward 1 Alderman Kenneth McVay and Ward 6 Alderman Anthony Moore. Ward 4 Alderman Regina Pickens and Ward 5 Alderman Mary Gates opposed the change. Ward 2 Alderman Bennett Moore was absent.