Melton’s discussion of legal woes may violate gag order

“I am the mayor of this city 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Melton said Tuesday night. “Anything I do falls within my purview of being mayor.”

The mayor mentioned the gag order before cutting himself off.

Melton’s attorney, John Reeves, was not at the meeting but said Melton is allowed to assert his innocence and make comments about issues that are already public record. However, Reeves said he always advises his clients not to talk about pending cases.

“I don’t believe this comment violates anything, even though I wouldn’t have made it,” Reeves said.

Melton’s comments came as the council debated whether to pay $50,000 in attorney fees for Melton’s two former police bodyguards, Marcus Wright and Michael Recio, from their 2007 state trial.

Recio, Wright and Melton were acquitted on state charges related to the damage of the duplex.

The request for money was denied in a 3-3 vote.

The council had considered a similar request for attorney fees in October. That proposal had asked for $125,000 to help pay Melton’s 2007 legal team. Money for Melton was not on the council’s agenda Tuesday.

Clarion Ledger
12/17/8