Waveland reacts to Longo indictment

By Al Showers – bio | email

WAVELAND, MS (WLOX) - Waveland's assistant attorney said Friday that the business of the city is moving forward, despite Mayor Tommy Longo's indictment on an embezzlement charge.

"There is no talk or grounds of removing Mayor Longo from his job," Gary Yarborough said in a statement. "The Mayor is entitled to his own defense."

The steadfast belief that everyone in America is 'innocent until proven guilty' was the common reaction as news of Longo's arrest spread around Waveland.

Lili Stahler has served on the Waveland Board of Aldermen for three years. She said news of Mayor Longo's arrest gives the city a black eye.

"Of course it saddens me," Stahler said. "It's bad publicity for the city. I feel for his family and all of us in Waveland. This is the type publicity we don't need. However an indictment doesn't mean a conviction. And in America we're innocent until proven guilty."

Many Waveland citizens we spoke with shared that sentiment.

"I know Tommy Longo," resident Chari Rapp said, "I know how he cares for the city of Waveland I know how dedicated he is to our city, and I know that at one time there was a policy in the United States of America that we were innocent until proven guilty."

Marty Andersen echoed her words.

"I would not want to jump to any conclusion on it without hearing more about it. I think maybe his side might be a little different," Anderson said. "I think maybe he was putting it in for reimbursement for city business? This is always a possibility."

"Knowing Tommy Longo as I know him, I don't think that he would deliberately take anything that didn't belong to him," Rapp said.

At Waveland City Hall, it was business as usual Friday, even without the mayor in his office. No one would comment about the arrest and most city employees acted as if there was nothing wrong.

"We've gotten beyond Katrina, we will certainly get beyond this," Alderwoman Lili Stahler said.

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