By Jamie Miller
Bryant Alderman Danny Steele has responded to former Alderman Rick Meyers’ comments and the complaint filed with[more] the Arkansas Ethics Commission involving Steele and current Alderman Adrian Henley, City Attorney Nga Mahfouz, former City Clerk Brenda Cockerham and former Mayor Larry Mitchell for their lack of filing a Statement of Financial Interest for 2010. The deadline for the statement was January 31st, 2011.
Meyer claims that “making this complaint was absolutely necessary, not only because it was the right thing to do, but because Steele has done so much wrong. It’s time for him to be held accountable.”
Steele has responded by saying, “I simply forgot.”
Other issues Meyer brought up were Steele’s efforts for former Human Resources Director Shayne King, to be reinstated and then given a severance package of $9,000 after she was let go just two days after Mayor Dabbs took office. Steele also filed a complaint of his own earlier in the year against Mayor Dabbs and City Clerk Heather Kizer regarding raises that were given to the both of them without approval of the city council.
“The complaint about Jill Dabbs giving herself and Heather Kizer a raise in salary has not yet been decided by the AEC,” Steele said. “I am prepared to wait for the decision from the Arkansas Ethics Commission and let them make the determinations regarding the salary issue.”
Steele also had responses to other issues and statements that were made by Meyer.
“My efforts to acquire a severance package for Mrs. Shayne King has nothing to do with the ethics complaints I have filed against Mrs. Dabbs,” he said. “The fact that Rick Meyer even mentioned Mrs. King is an attempt to deflect attention from the real issues at hand.”
Meyer has also alleged that Steele “has launched an unwarranted vendetta against our newly elected Mayor, Jill Dabbs,” but Steele responded by saying, “There is no vendetta against Mrs. Dabbs.”
Steele concluded by saying, “There is no reason to try and bring politics into my actions. I run as an independent and serve in my capacity as alderman as an independent thinking and voting member. Let me explain that when there is the possibility of litigation it is best for me not to talk about the subject.”
Henley and Mahfouz have yet to respond to attempts to contact them for comment.