Mobile City Council Vice President Levon Manzie has signed the professional services contract to rehire its spokeswoman, Councilman Fred Richardson confirmed Wednesday afternoon.
“She’s officially back,” Richardson said at an unrelated press event.
The council voted last week to follow through with hiring Marion Steinfels over the written objections of Mayor Sandy Stimspon. The resulting resolution gave the mayor until the end of November to sign the contract, or Manzie would be given the authorization to do so.
Following Tuesday’s pre-conference meeting Manzie said he planned to sign the contract, but hadn’t yet. He did not return a call seeking comment Wednesday.
The deal is not yet official, a source said, and it’s unclear when the contract will be executed. It’s also unclear whether Stimpson’s office will authorize Steinfels’ salary to be paid. A call to city spokeswoman Laura Byrne has not yet be returned. City spokesman George Talbot said in late November the mayor’s office did not believe the council had the authority to enter into the contract, adding that taking the matter to court is not out of the question.
Stimpson terminated Steinfels in October following the city council’s passage of the 2019 fiscal year budget. Councilors feel the move was politically motivated. Stimpson’s office refused to comment on personnel issues.