Former Selma City Treasurer Wins Lawsuit Against Former Selma Mayor
From the West Alabama Newsroom–
A long running dispute between two former Selma city officials comes to an end — after nearly four years litigation.
Former City Treasurer Ronita Wade sued former mayor Darrio Melton in federal court — and won.
Wade was removed from the job by Melton during his tenure — and reinstated by the city council — on three separate occasions.
“It was just one of the biggest messes,” said Wade’s attorney Julian McPhillips.
Wade says Melton terrorized — and bullied her — over a period of three to four years.
“And she was subject to what we call a sham investigation,” said McPhillips.
“Oh, you’re being investigated. We got to get rid of you. And guess what? Turns out the mayor was the one that was causing the investigation in the first place. He was the one that was filing complaints on her at the ethics commission.”
“And the mayor himself wore a gun and would make attempts to intimidate me — brandishing his weapon that he wore inside of his jacket,” Wade said.
“There were times where he actually followed me around the city after work.”
Wade says the constant harassment left her feeling depressed — and increasingly cutoff at work.
“There was a point when I contemplated suicide,” she said.
“Because, it was very hectic for me. I was isolated and alone.”
The case finally came to an end Wednesday in federal court in Selma.
“I think it’s historic,” said McPhillips.
“Because it’ll send a message out to all these mayors across the state, you better be careful how you treat the people under you.”
The jury awarded Wade — a $50,000 judgement — in addition to about $200,000 dollars — in attorneys fees.
Attempts to contact former mayor Dario Melton for comment were unsuccessful.