Fairhope Mayor Karin Wilson is hospitalized with an apparent infection, according a statement on her Facebook page.
Here is that statement in its entirety:
“I appreciate the outpouring of support and understanding by many following Friday’s events. For those who are upset, I want you to know that I care about how you feel. The employees were let go for reasons which I cannot disclose at this time, but be assured that those actions were in the best interest of the City. The two employees were long-serving, but tenure does not outweigh what is in the best interest of the City and its citizens. A difficult decision had to be made, and no one likes to make these types of decisions, but it had to be done to protect the integrity and interest of the City at large.
“I had planned my first meeting with a couple of city council members yesterday morning (I am only allowed by law to meet up to two council members at a time), however, the meeting had to be postponed as I became very ill and had to be hospitalized where I remain. Tests are being run to determine the nature of my illness. The only thing we know right now is that I am fighting an infection. I hope to be out soon, but am still working while here and will continue talking with council to find ways we can move forward.
“I am committed to working with our Council, and they also must be committed to working with me and because of there are 5 councilmen and 1 of me, the communication must go both ways. Each were elected by the citizens to perform the functions of the office they were elected to hold, and the actions of Monday’s City Council Emergency Session crossed long-standing legal boundaries established by Alabama law. Know that I will continue to protect the integrity of both branches of government (Office of the Mayor and City Council) so that Fairhope will be successful and rash decisions will not continue to be made that further divide the community.”
Councilman Robert Brown said he received a text message from Wilson Wednesday morning in which she canceled a scheduled meeting with him and Councilman Jimmy Conyers. Wilson told Brown she was taken to Thomas Hospital the night before and was in the intensive care unit. Brown said he received another text message Thursday afternoon saying that Wilson was doing better but expected to remain hospitalized overnight.
On Friday, Wilson fired longtime employees Jennifer Fiddler, who was public works director; and Sherry Sullivan, who was community affairs director. City Council members reacted by holding a special council meeting Monday to enact a 60-day hiring freeze.
City Attorney Marion “Tut” Wynne told Lagniappe Monday that in his opinion the council acted within its legal authority.