According to a copy of the arrest warrant issued for Spanish Fort Mayor Mike McMillan Oct. 31, he was charged with harassment after slapping the City Magistrate, Lyndsey Cooper, in City Hall.
The warrant, which was accompanied by a complaint, deposition and bonding documents, states that on Oct. 1, McMillan argued with Cooper, “telling her to shut up and slapping her in the face with his hand.” It does not detail the nature of the argument, or any actions that occurred in the month between the date of the incident and when the warrant was issued.
As the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) later detailed in a prepared statement, a report was forwarded to the BCSO Criminal Investigation Division. An investigation was done in the case to include interviews and gathering of surveillance video. Probable cause was found for harassment 3rd degree, the warrant was issued, and McMillan turned himself in Oct. 31, posting the $500 bond the same day and agreeing to have no contact with the alleged victim. It is a misdemeanor charge.
On Monday, McMillan issued a statement reading, in part, “I look forward to having my day in court where all the evidence will come forth, and the truth will be borne out … I am satisfied that, after a full and fair hearing, the allegations against me will be disproved, and I will be exonerated.”
The complaint also lists four witnesses: court Secretary Carol Caldwell, Building Permit Clerk Ashley Tucker and two investigators for the BCSO.
Separately, Spanish Fort Police Chief David Edgar announced his retirement on Oct. 24, writing a Facebook post stating “it’s time to close this chapter of my life and start the next.” After McMillan’s arrest, Edgar told Lagniappe he had no reports on the incident between the mayor and the magistrate, and any historical police reports involving McMillan were either as a victim or a witness.
Upon receiving follow-up questions, Edgar clarified his retirement was at least a year in the making, and the timing had nothing to do with the incident.
“The complainant did not alert us or file any complaint with SFPD,” Edgar wrote in an email Monday. “Since we had no complaint and were not aware, we had no investigation, and nothing to ‘turn over’ to the BCSO. I have not been involved and have no information regarding an internal investigation. No one in my office has been involved in any internal investigation either.
“My retirement was in the planning (by me…no one outside my family was aware) for almost a year prior to my announcement,” he continued. “As my Facebook post stated I have had a goal of retiring at age 50 for a number of years. I was actually contemplating a date in September, but life events and prior obligations made me change the date. I picked the announcement date because all of my officers would be present at court and I could tell all of them personally at the same time. I felt it too impersonal to notify them via email message, phone calls would take too long, and the question of who to call first, who knew first and the likes would likely damage relationships I have with my officers. I chose to avoid that.”
McMillan has a court hearing Dec. 19, 2019 at 8:30 a.m., in Judge William Scully’s courtroom. Lagniappe will update this story as it develops.
This post was updated to include comments from Spanish Fort Police Chief David Edgar and a statement from McMillan.
Note: This document has been redacted to omit private information including Social Security and driver’s license numbers, and addresses of unelected officials.
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