Police Chief Bobby Madison, Sr. said Tuesday night that he and a former officer have not received a payroll check for more than two months from the Village of Clayton.
The chief confronted Mayor Josephine Washington and aldermen about the problem at the board of alderman’s monthly meeting.
Washington countered that the Clayton police department had its own banking account where Madison draws money for payroll.
“We never got your revenue,” Washington said. “Your revenue never went into the general fund. You have your own account. You take the money out of your account however you want to.”
“You are wrong,” Madison said. “I cannot go on any longer. You sit back and are waiting on citations, but we have to patrol the town and protect the people of Clayton.”
Washington signs all payroll checks including police department employees, Madison said.
“She is the CEO of the town,” Madison said.
He said an additional officer on the Clayton force resigned and now is working for the Town of Ferriday because he wasn’t being paid.
“This is not Bobby’s money and this is not Bobby’s police department,” Madison said. “This is the Village of Clayton’s police department. I wanted the board to be aware of it, and I will be taking other actions.”
Washington asked Village of Clayton attorney Myisha Davis to look into the matters of police department payroll.
“As far as I know, the police department money from July 1, 2016 has never gone into the general fund where it was going into the general fund before,” Washington said. “If I am wrong I stand to be corrected, and I will correct it.”
Washington said this morning that Clayton aldermen in a conference call last year agreed to lend the police department $5,000 to make payroll and the department has not been able to pay its bills for 15 months.
"When the chief went into office, the aldermen voted to give him his own account so he could handle (the department's) money," Washington said. "I feel I'm not obligated to pay for his salaries. If I pay for his salaries or the police department salaries I could not pay my own bills."
On another front, Aldermen Wilbert Washington said he had been in contact via email with Bradley Cryer, Assistant Legislative Auditor and Director of Local Government Audit Services, about Clayton’s status with the bonding commission.
Washington said Cryer’s e-mail stated the bond commission had no prohibition against Clayton and “working out a realistic repayment, refinance with Concordia Bank … this would necessarily require a long term repayment schedule. However, it is my understanding that the proposal to the bond commission for consideration was simply a one-year extension on the existing debt.”
Washington said he responded to Cryer in an email and said there was an agreement with Concordia Bank & Trust Company for a five-year, 2.5 percent refinance of Clayton’s debt.
“Evidently, there has been some confusion,” Washington said. “We were rejected by the bond commission because they were looking at it thinking it was just a one-year extension instead of five years.”
“Mr. Biglane along with the attorney said when it was presented it would have to go before the bond commission and be approved every year,” Washington said. “It would read like that. The difference in that I don’t know.”
Davis, the town’s attorney, said she would contact Biglane about Clayton’s proposal to the bond commission to make sure everything is in order.