CL – Council erred in paying Melton’s bills

The Jackson City Council might have thought it was a nice gesture to pay the late Mayor Frank Melton’s leftover legal bills, but it was not a nice gesture to city taxpayers.

It was a mistake. There was no obligation to pay the personal legal bills of the former mayor, whose late night foray to “fight crime” by demolishing a private citizen’s home resulted in a federal trail for civil rights violations.

Melton’s lawyer, John Reeves, who called representing the late mayor a “labor of love,” said bills mounted to $103,500. The city paid $37,500. He should love that, too.

The city is obligated to pay the owner of that home and it is hoped that matter can be settled.