A harassment trial against Spanish Fort Mayor Mike McMillan was postponed today after attorneys could not agree on the privilege status of testimony involving the city attorney and other “officers” of the city, including the city clerk and police chief.
City attorney David Conner told retired Judge James Reid, who was assigned the case after two other district court judges recused, that his testimony, as well as that of City Clerk Mary Lynn Williams and former Police Chief David Edgar may be protected under attorney-client privilege.
In a motion filed after court recessed today, Conner objected to his own subpoena, claiming he “is not a party to this litigation” and “the request for information is broad, unduly burdensome, oppressive and seeks information which is not relevant.” He also sought relief based on attorney-client privilege and suggested the plaintiff is seeking “information that has been previously produced or requests information which could be more easily obtained from other parties.”
Afterward, Reid issued an order setting a deadline of Jan. 30, 2020 for Conner to make his legal argument. After prosecutors respond, “the case will be reset for trial,” the order states.
The plaintiff, City Magistrate Lyndsey Cooper, claimed McMillan slapped her during an argument in City Hall Oct. 1. According to an arrest warrant filed by the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) Oct. 31, 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.
Allegedly, there is also video of the incident, which prosecutors were prepared to show the judge today before the bench trial was postponed. The complaint also lists four witnesses: court Secretary Carol Caldwell, Building Permit Clerk Ashley Tucker and two investigators for the BCSO.
Assistant District Attorney John Gamble is the lead prosecutor on the case. McMillan is being represented by attorneys Donald Briskman and Shawn Alves.
McMillan, who turned himself in the day the warrant filed, has only addressed the incident in a statement reading, “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.”
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