South Fulton City Council, mayor at odds over police chief

- Officials in the city of South Fulton met behind closed Wednesday afternoon to try to work out a major rift over city hiring.

The new city needs to hire a city manager and a police chief, though there seems to be a disagreement over exactly what should happen first.

City of South Fulton Mayor Bill Edwards and members of city council went into executive session just after 3:30 p.m. to discuss "personnel" issues. The meeting came less than 24 hours after reports that the Mayor had hired Luther Lamar, Jr. as police chief, only for council members to fire him--a claim they deny.

"Contrary to what was reported, there was no action by this City Council to hire or fire a police chief," said City of South Fulton Councilwoman Catherine Foster-Rowell, flanked by the rest of city council after the executive session.

Mayor Edwards made an effort to clarify his remarks to the public.

"The person had never been hired and so, you can't fire who you haven't... that was a bad call on my part in that particular interview to use the word, 'fired,'" Edwards said.

Members of the city council said they do not want to hire a police chief before a city manager is in place.

"We're going to leave that decision to the city manager once a permanent city manager is named. That is our position," said Foster-Rowell.

Time is running out for city officials to make a decision, the city of South Fulton is set to take over police services within its borders on March 26.

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