Poplarville alderwoman's resignation letter accuses city leaders of 'unethical behavior'

Poplarville alderwoman's resignation letter accuses city leaders of 'unethical behavior'

POPLARVILLE, MS (WLOX) - A Poplarville alderwoman is painting an upsetting picture of local politics, and why she no longer wants to be a part of it. WLOX News Now has obtained the resignation letter of Poplarville Alderwoman Margaret Smith where she calls out the mayor and some board members for what she considers unethical behavior.

In her letter, Smith writes with pride about her first term, and the work that board was able to accomplish, including improvements to City Park and bringing businesses like Fred's and Love's to Poplarville. But she says things are different in this second term, and some board members have "personal agendas."

"There is no consideration for rules, for ordinances, or for what is ethical. There have been requests for special treatment of friends with unethical assistance from the public works department, a call for special meetings to help the financial agenda of best friends, and the coalition of silent partners from within the board itself, etc. I am not accusing any outside people of these requests; I am stating that these were done from within this board, and they are not ethical."

Smith writes that the police chief is trying to do his best, but is receiving personal interference from City Hall.

"No one is safe; it seems that any trusting soul can be thrown 'under the bus' for one's ego and personal agenda," Smith wrote. "I am not willing to put myself in a position that I can be held legally or financially responsible for such thoughtless, unprofessional, egotistical activities."

Smith said her decision to resign was not one she came to only after much thought and prayer. She officially resigned in an executive session April 10.

A special election to fill her seat will be held May 22.

Mayor Rossie Creel released the following statement Friday in response to Smith's resignation and allegations of unethical behavior:

"The untimely resignation of Poplarville Alderman Margaret Ann Smith is both unfortunate and disheartening. The voting citizens of Poplarville put her in office with the expectation that she would complete her term. Special elections are both time-consuming and costly to taxpayers and require city government to tap into funds that were not budgeted for an election. In my opinion, the remaining members of this administration possess great vision and leadership as we move forward to make Poplarville the very best of small-town Mississippi. We all have the utmost integrity, moral character, and ethical value that were guaranteed to citizens during our campaigns. For anyone to suggest otherwise is absurd. I pray those who qualify to run for this open seat possess those same qualities."

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