BAYOU LA BATRE, Ala (WPMI) - Mayor Stan Wright repeatedly butted heads with Councilwoman Annette Johnson Thursday night. Much of the debate was over the Mayor's appointments to the city's housing board.
Some of the contention stemmed from a legal opinion issued last week by Mobile attorney John Lee regarding the housing board which receives money from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
In his opinion, Lee wrote Wright's most recent appointment to the board December 12, 2012, was "in violation of the HUD directive" because the appointment came after HUD suspended the Mayor's power to appoint members.
The suspension is the result of a federal case pending against Wright.
At the meeting, Johnson asked for Attorney General Luther Strange to step in to answer who can and can not be appointed.
"It's strictly going to go the way the tenants desire regardless because the Mayor has stacked it that way," Johnson said, "So without an unbiased group of people out there managing the Housing Authority, they can do whatever they choose to do."
Wright made a surprise announcement in the meeting, also requesting help from the Attorney General. Wright said, because of several tips he's received, he wants Strange to investigate allegations of the Housing Board members improperly removing furnishing and other items from homes purchased with federal money.
The request seemed to visibly bother Johnson. "It's quite a bit of tit-for-tat, this whole thing right here, I perceive it as retaliation," she said.
"She served on the board for 4 years and was one of the ones who allowed this to happen -- I don't know -- I know I rang a bell with her," Wright added.
It's unclear when Strange may weigh in on both issues.