Birmingham mayor, city councilman hug it out after brawl

23 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Alabama mayor withdraws complaint after fight at City Hall.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama mayor on Wednesday withdrew his complaint against a city councilman after a fight at City Hall that left both men hospitalized with minor injuries. Mayor William Bell and councilman Marcus Lundy were having a closed-door discussion in a room behind city council chambers when a fight broke out Tuesday.

A video of the council meeting captures sounds of a man repeatedly shouting “No!” from outside the council chamber before the presiding member calls for a recess. According to a police report, Bell and Lundy had been discussing a city matter and Bell said Lundy started talking about a personal issue and began cursing at him. Bell told police he turned and tried leaving the room, but Lundy closed the door each time before grabbing him by the neck from behind and putting him in a chokehold. Two of Lundy’s assistants came into the room to break up the scuffle but refused to give interviews with police until after they spoke with legal counsel, police said. At a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new office space Wednesday morning, Austin lauded Bell’s economic development efforts and told the audience that Bell has been a great ambassador for the city although they don’t always agree on everything.

Bell said it’s unfortunate that the fight could tarnish the city’s reputation. “I stand here today to apologize to the public, to recommit myself to lifting up this city and ask for the prayers and the hard work of everyone to make this city great,” he said. In this Oct. 17, 2014 photo, Birmingham City Councilor Marcus Lundy talks to members of the International World Games Association site selection committee during a press conference at the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in Birmingham, Ala. An audio recording from a committee meeting on Monday captured a terse exchange between city councilmembers and the mayor’s chief of staff about the procedure that was used to retrieve the vehicle. Austin also accused Bell of being unwilling to work with the council and said the confrontation was likely the culmination of the deteriorating relationship. “Boys need to grow up and be men and do the job they were elected to do,” she said. “They need to sit across the table and talk about conflict resolution.” Bell, a former council member, has been mayor since 2010.

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