Selma Mayor Names New Interim Fire Chief Who Is Under Indictment


Selma Mayor James Perkins, Jr. has announced that he has named a new interim fire chief, following the resignation of Willie Mason, Jr. after less than three months on the job.

In a statement, Perkins says he has appointed Capt. Franklin Edwards to interim chief, effective today.

Edwards was indicted in Jefferson County last year on a charge of leaving the scene of an accident on Interstate 59 that resulted in the death of a man. Court records show a pretrial hearing is set for next month.

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Franklin Edwards – Photo from Jefferson County Jail

In making the announcement, the mayor said, “The citizens elected me to lead the performance of daily operations of city government. But  how can I do that when this city council will not listen to me when it comes to who will work as department heads.

“As long as the city council dictates the appointments of city department heads, there is no way the public can hold me, as mayor, responsible for those departments’ performance. This is frustrating and outright managerially impossible to deal with.

“The citizens elected me and the city council members also, and it must be the citizens who correct this craziness. For those who continue asking, ‘what is wrong with Selma’s government?’, the answer is, City Council Overreach.” 

City council had appointed Mason as chief in February. He was a 19-year veteran of the department, working his way up through the ranks.

In an interview with Alabama News Network shortly after his appointment, he noted the department had about 19 firefighters, well short of the 54 Mason said were needed to be fully staffed.


Categories: News, West Alabama