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Fight between mayor and police chief leaves one arrested, the other in the hospital

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By Brett Gillin

It’s the latest in a long string of controversies for Lipscomb Alabama Mayor Lance McDade, and this one might be the most egregious to date. On Friday, Mayor McDade was arrested after a physical confrontation with the city’s police chief, Warren Carey. Carey had to be treated at a local hospital after the altercation, while McDade was sent to jail.

According to this report out of Fox 6 in Alabama, the incident began early Friday morning, when Mayor McDade sent a letter to all city employees. In that letter, McDade told every city employee that they had been placed on administrative leave with pay. According to reports, McDade did this in order to spur the city council to “work together better.”

The letter, which AL.com obtained, read “This Letter is to inform you that all city employees are on administrative leave with pay until further notice. With exceptions for city dispatch.”

When Police Chief Carey caught wind of the letter, he went to confront Mayor McDade, and that’s when the altercation began. A reporter with Fox was on scene shortly after the arrest, talking to the city employees to try to detail exactly what happened.

According to sources in the city council, this altercation and eventual arrest was brought about due to the mayor’s general attitude and his treatment of city employees and businesses within Lipscomb. Mayor McDade disagreed in an interview from his jail cell, where he told reporters that his arrest was brought on because of the general chaos and lack of order throughout the city.

This is not the first time that Mayor McDade has been arrested while in office. Just one year ago, according to this story in AL.com, McDade was arrested during a domestic dispute. According to police reports, the dispute started when McDade and his then-wife began arguing about issues of their pending divorce and the distribution of property between the couple. He was arrested on third-degree domestic violence/harassment.

McDade was also arrested in September of 2013 at the scene of a fire. According to this article in AL.com, McDade showed up to the scene of a fire and noticed a firefighter who he had previously fired working the scene. When he complained to multiple people on the scene, he was arrested, held in jail for two hours, and released. According to reports, the firefighter that McDade fired, Lt. Janet Lawrence, had been immediately reinstated by the city council and fire chief in defiance of McDade’s orders.

Following his most recent arrest, the city council have changed the locks to city hall, purportedly to keep the mayor from disrupting the city operations. Police Chief Carey was seen hobbling away from the scene and suffered only minor injuries in the altercation.

It is not yet known what additional actions will be taken, how long McDade will remain in jail, or if current Mayor pro tem Brenda Renz will continue to lead the city after McDade is released.

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