MOBILE — The Mobile City Council began its regular meeting Tuesday with an executive session while embattled police chief Paul Prine took to social media questioning a review of the police department by former U.S. Attorney Kenyen Brown.

Prine posted a copy of the separation agreement options he was given by City Attorney Ricardo Woods on March 27.

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The first option offered Prine retirement with his reputation remaining intact, including a nondisclosure/non-disparaging clause that would keep information about Prine in the Kenyen Brown report hidden from the public. The option also included keeping Prine as a consultant through Nov. 9, 2025, contingent on the re-election of Stimpson, paid leave and insurance coverage.

The second option relieved Prine of his duties and stated, "Kenyen will prepare an executive summary w/o a non-disparaging agreement," saying that a press conference would be held to release those findings, along with "public dissemination of the executive summary." Further, it stated an executive session would take place with the council and said a "vote of the council is there."

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Stimpson previously stated that part of the findings showed Prine made a statement early in his tenure telling officers not to listen to what he says to the media and "fuck the public."

Prine said he does not remember saying that, and his supporters who have worked with him for years told 1819 News that it didn't sound like something Prine would say.

Mobile's director of communications, Candace Cooksey, told 1819 News the city was trying to "offer Prine an option that would not damage his reputation by choosing to retire amicably."

Cooksey said Kenyen is preparing an internal report that will include names of whistleblowers and information concerning matters subject to litigation. That report will remain internal and will not be released to the public.

On Monday, Prine posted about the relationship between Brown and some of the city administration and suggested work on a non-profit entity for the city, showing a closer relationship that could impact a non-biased third-party review.

Chief of Staff James Barber and Brown are both listed as directors of the Project Thrive Foundation.

Curtis Graves, the recently appointed Deputy Director of Public Safety, is also listed as an incorporator.

"It appears the city has the authority to mitigate this so-called third-party objective report," Prine stated. "That coupled with MPD Strategic Initiative, that I just found out was a nonprofit. Interesting that Barber and Brown are both directors."

Stimpson's office said area partners started the non-profit to address the effects of trauma.

"Former U.S. Attorney Kenyen Brown was selected in conversation between Mayor Stimpson, Council President CJ Small and city attorney Ricardo Woods because of his qualifications and familiarity with the community and local law enforcement," Stimpson's office stated. "It is important to note that his selection was not at the request or direction of Chief Barber or [Executive Public Safety] Director [Rob] Lasky."

"Paul Prine was not the focus, nor within the scope of Kenyen Brown's letter of engagement," the mayor's office continued. "Once he began conducting interviews, concerns surfaced around culture and Prine's leadership and general attitude towards the public."

Stimpson's office denied any manipulation of the Brown review.

Meanwhile, activists with Black Lives Matter set up outside of the council chamber Tuesday during the regular city council meeting. They said they were there to protest against police brutality and the mishandling of Chief Paul Prine's departure.

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Black Lives Matter signs placed outside of council chambers. Photo: Erica Thomas.

"We are letting the people of the public know what's going on down here so they can wake up," said Carolyn Banks Mays.

Community activist Sabrina Mass addressed the city council and voiced her support for Prine. Mass, who was appointed by Prine to the Public Safety Committee, asked the city to be transparent about money going to Thrive. She accused the city of abuse of power and said information about the Brown report should be made public now.

"Where is all this going?" Mass asked. "We want answers out here. This is clearly abuse of power. We have been addressing these issues not only for years, three years now, right at this podium, about the use of power, about unethical issues that clearly have happened."

Mass said the treatment of Prine makes citizens feel unsafe.

"If they attack the chief of police, then what we are? We are just sitting ducks out here in this society," Mass said. "That's abuse of power."

"I don't understand, as a citizen," she continued. "Give us the facts and evidence of what Chief Prine did that was so wrong for him to be placed on administrative leave. Give us the facts."

With the public back-and-forth between Prine and Stimpson over the past week, Mass said community morale is low.

"People like to play games in this place, and I'm sick of it," she added. "That's abuse of power. You got the citizens out here, don't know what's going on. You got citizens, administration, everybody's in the disarray with each other, everybody taking different sides of the table, because we don't know who to trust and what to trust."

"… We still haven't seen no evidence. Show us the proof, show us the evidence, and if he has done something wrong, show it to us."

Council member Ben Reynolds said the council is aware of what is happening but has not received the Brown report yet. He said they look forward to finding out more and navigating through it.

Council member Gina Gregory said it has been a difficult week for everyone.

"You've heard from a couple of the council members today, each as heard all of the media reports," said Gregory. "And it has been a difficult week for everyone but public safety, of course, remains our number one priority here in the government."

Following the council meeting, other council members said they are waiting for the report to be released before making any detailed public comment.

In a surprise announcement, council member Joel Daves announced he will not run for re-election next year.

"I wanted to say that while it has been my great pleasure and honor to serve the residents of District 5, I will not stand for re-election at that time," Daves said.

Daves did not explain why he will not run for council again and did not imply that it had anything to do with recent controversies.

The council is expected to take up another executive session before the council meeting next week.

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