Ward 4 Councilman Fredrick Jackson has resigned and a special election will be called to replace him.
Mayor Robert Smith announced the resignation at a press conference Wednesday morning. Jackson was not present.
Smith said he had received Jackson’s letter of resignation about 8:45 that morning.
“He stated in his letter to the mayor and council that he was resigning to spend more time focusing on his family and career opportunities,” Smith said. “He also thanked the citizens of Ward 4 for allowing him to serve them over the past two years.”
Smith was asked if Jackson had resigned because he did not live in Ward 4 anymore; recent rumors have stated that he no longer lived in his ward.
“I have no idea as to where Councilman Fredrick Jackson lives,” Smith said, “whether he lives in Ward 4, Ward 5 or any other ward.”
Smith was also asked if Jackson would have to pay back any money he had received as a councilman while living outside his ward, if that was the case.
“If that was the case, there is some caselaw from I believe it was Lexington, Miss., with a supervisor where that did happen,” Smith said. “But I have no idea where (Jackson) lives as of today.”
The council will meet Monday at 9 a.m. at City Hall to set up a special election to fill the post, he said. The election will be non-partisan.
“Any candidate who wishes to run may qualify immediately thereafter,” Smith said. “Each candidate must have 50 qualified electors in Ward 4 sign a petition. What I will recommend to the council is that the last day to qualify will be July 30 at 5 o’clock. The plan is, if the council accepts my recommendation, will be to have a special election on Tuesday, Aug. 20.”
Once the election is over, the winner will be sworn in at the next council meeting.
Jackson was elected in a runoff in 2017. He defeated incumbent Marty Turner by about 100 votes.
[This story will be updated for next week’s edition. – Ed.]