Gautier council votes to fire city manager

Sidney Runnels
Sidney Runnels

GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - Gautier City Manager Sidney Runnels was terminated Tuesday night. City council members discussed the matter in executive session, so few details are known. But City Attorney Robert Ramsey will take over the job in the interim.

Mayor Tommy Fortenberry would not say why Runnels was let go. But back in August, the city council called in the state auditor to investigate what they considered questionable actions by Runnels.

At that time, Councilman Johnny Jones told WLOX News that Runnels had directed city crews to clear about an acre of land which was being considered as the site of a new fire station. But the property was privately owned, and council members believed that made Runnels' actions illegal.

There's no word on whether Tuesday night's decision to terminate Runnels had anything to do with that disagreement.

Mayor Fortenberry said his city "is moving forward," and will begin advertising for the position immediately.

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