Willie Jenkins said, "I'm kind of hurt Mayor Harris would do our town like this. I can understand if you owed employees, he wasn't in, maybe he could have made arrangements, drew out a contract this is what you all owe me throughout the year. That way you won't leave the town broke."
But,that he did. When Harris left office, he paid himself more than $50,000 for unused vacation time during his 20 year run as mayor. He also signed off thousands in severance packages to staff members who would be losing their jobs when he left office. The total sum equaled more money than the town had in the bank.
According to the assistant district attorney, by the time Harris left office, the town of Richwood was $24,000 in the red. Now the district attorney's office is charging Harris with Malfeasance in Office. Challenging the legality of his actions.
Current mayor Steve Hunter beat Harris in last years mayoral race. He says he had to trim his staff and employee salaries just to keep the town afloat. Now he is facing a recall. He says he hopes this investigation sheds light on the hand he was dealt when he stepped into office.
Mayor Steve Hunter said, "With it leaving the town financially strapped, it showed the town my ability as a leader. Anyone that can run a town with no money can surely run a town with money."