Jacobs still hasn’t retired

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 6, 2004

Assistant Police Chief Robert Jacobs’ effective day of retirement has been moved to Feb. 23.

Mayor James Perkins Jr. announced the change at the Selma City Council’s special called meeting Thursday night. Jacobs’ submitted his retirement letter Jan. 19. His last day was supposed to be Feb. 9.

Council members Rita Sims Franklin, B.L. Tucker and Glenn Sexton called Thursday’s meeting to discuss whether to accept Jacobs’ retirement letter. However, no council member made a motion to either accept or reject it on Thursday.

Instead, council members discussed if they should hear from Jacobs and Police Chief Robert Green about a plan they developed focused on curbing Selma’s crime.

In a Jan. 30 press release, Perkins states he directed Jacobs and Green to put aside all personal differences and implement the plan they presented the week of Jan. 26.

Tucker said he thought the council met to act on the retirement letter. Evans, though, said he didn’t know if Jacobs still wanted to retire.

Jacobs previously submitted a retirement letter in December, but chose not to retire. Perkins never accepted Jacobs’ first letter.

Councilwoman Bennie Ruth Crenshaw questioned why the council met on Thursday. She suggested that instead of acting on Jacobs’ letter, Perkins, Evans and both chiefs should meet and bring a plan back to the council. &uot;Some people went beyond their call of duty to ensure Jacobs doesn’t return,&uot; she said. &uot;This city is in terrible shape right now.&uot;

Taking the podium, Perkins said he questioned the legality of the meeting’s agenda. &uot;I don’t think the council has the authority to accept letters of retirement,&uot; he said. &uot;That goes beyond your authority. That happens in the mayor’s office and not with the council.&uot;

Referring to an earlier motion by Councilwoman Nancy Sewell to enter an executive session to discuss good name and character, Perkins said the council would be taking an illegal action. &uot;I didn’t hear Evans say we needed to discuss good name and character,&uot; he said. &uot;He said he wanted to discuss the content of the plan. It has nothing to do with good name.&uot;

When Perkins asked Green if the plan’s discussion involved good name and character, Green said it did. Jacobs, though, said it didn’t.

A vote to enter an executive session failed 5 to 4. Sexton, Franklin, Sewell and Councilman James Durry favored the session. Evans, Tucker, Crenshaw and council members Jean Martin and Sam Randolph opposed.

Sewell said the council had the right to act on Jacobs’ letter and abolish the position of assistant police chief. &uot;That’s the council’s prerogative,&uot; she said. &uot;The council created that position. The council appointed that position.&uot;

Evans countered that he wouldn’t act on the position’s elimination on Thursday. &uot;It is too late for them two to work it out?&uot; Evans asked. &uot;Are their egos too big to get the job done?&uot; He added that the council could have waited to discuss the issue at its regularly scheduled Monday meeting.

When asked for a consensus on who wanted to act on the letter Thursday, only four council members raised their hands. Perkins then returned to the podium and said, &uot;This has really turned into a witch hunt. I want to say that this has nothing to do with Jacobs. Council members are attacking him for a door to get to the mayor.

Perkins continued, &uot;My front door is open, and you don’t have to hurt people around me to get to me.&uot;

The meeting then adjourned after a motion from Sewell.