Gulfport Councilman Reimbursed For Ripped Suit

A nail in the wrong place at Gulfport City Hall cost the city more than 400 dollars in damages.

The nail had been used to hold Christmas decorations in place. But a former city councilman and the chairman of the civil service commission both ripped their suits on that nail and filed claims against the city for reimbursement.

The damage claims have been approved and the suspect nail removed.

Anne Peterson removed the nail after two city officials ripped their suits on it. Former councilman Sam Albritton and civil service commission chairman Joe McLammy both got snagged on the nail which had been used to hold up Christmas decorations.

Peterson was City Council Secretary at the time and wrote a letter for Councilman Albritton asking about a damage claim. Anne Peterson says she wrote the letter for him, at his request. And then she also wrote the letter for Mr. McLammy because his secretary had called to say that within a few days he had torn his suit at a civil service commission meeting. So Peterson says she just offered to write the letter for him also, since she was already doing one.

The claims were just over 427 dollars and approved on last week's council docket.

When asked about whether the claims were frivolous, Mayor Ken Combs said let's just say just say I don't think I'd ever do that.

Gulfport seamstress Charlene Crosby hears all kinds of stories about ripped clothing. She says repairing a suit is possible. A rip along a seam is easily fixed. But more extensive damage may require costly expert attention and she says If you get to that extent, it would be better to just buy another suit.

Former councilman Albritton told WLOX News he considers the damage reimbursement a "legitimate" claim. Albritton says it was actually the second suit he had damaged and he was angry because he'd asked a city employee to remove the nail.