Williamson owes apology for accusations

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 28, 2005

To the Editor:

A letter written by Councilman Cecil Williamson and published in this newspaper has been brought to my attention. As a rule, I rarely respond to matters in the papers.

However, I must address this letter.

The allegations contained in Rev. Williamson’s letter are simply wrong. Therefore, as managing partner of Chestnut, Sanders, Sanders, Pettaway & Campbell, I hereby ask Rev. Cecil Williamson to publish a written apology to the public, the mayor, the city of Selma and the law firm of Chestnut, Sanders, Sanders, Pettaway & Campbell.

To be sure, there was a check for $4,500 written to our firm. We have not received the check, but it certainly was not for attorney fees. It was for a settlement for the Sullivan, et al vs. Brady, et al., case, which has been pending since March 3, 2000. The case involves allegations falsely made against several monks by a city policeman in an accident case.

It is my understanding that the settlement was approved by the Selma City Council on Sept. 26, 2005, and Councilman Cecil Williamson voted on the settlement. He had to know that before he wrote and published this letter. If not, a simple phone call would have provided the full information.

The city of Selma has been supplementing its city attorney with outside counsel the entire 34 years I have lived here. In fact, the city paid the Gamble Firm as outside counsel nearly $150,000 to handle the case brought by the Friends of Forrest in their effort to place the Nathan Bedford Forrest Statue in our neighborhood.

Councilman Williamson was personally involved in the matter but he never said not one single word about $150,000 for outside counsel.

Yet, he wrongly writes about $4,500 involving our firm, which was not for outside counsel.

I am deeply concerned because Councilman Williamson appears to be so determined to attack this law firm and the mayor of Selma he wrongly rushes to judgement and publication.

Just a couple of weeks ago, he wrongly rushed to judgement and publication concerning an appointment to the Craig Field Airport Industrial Board.

He has wrongly rushed to judgement, charges and publication on various other occasions.

I hope he will take stock and start apologizing to all adversely impacted by his wrongful acts.

Hank Sanders