Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson and City Council president CJ Small released a joint statement Thursday following allegations made by former city councilman Scott Jones.
Jones told 1819 News the mayor and his staff have not been communicating well or working with council members. Jones offered examples of projects he has been unable to accomplish and said the city's continued support of AltaPointe Health and other reasons led him to resign from the council this past Tuesday.
Stimpson and Small said in a statement: "Mr. Jones's comments are a mischaracterization of the positive working relationship between the administration and the City Council. It is true that Mr. Jones, the administration, and other councilmembers do from time to time have a difference of opinion, as is expected in any form of representative government. However, the Mayor, City Council and staff work closely and tirelessly together to move the city forward. We will continue that same spirit of collaboration and cooperation in the coming months as we work to fill Mr. Jones's vacancy. We wish him well in his future endeavors."
Jones did say that Mayor Stimpson had done many positive things for the city, which was why it was in positive financial standing. However, he said if the city of Mobile continues on the same path, nothing will move forward, and there will always be "perpetual potential" only.
During Tuesday's regular council meeting, Jones said he was leaving because he could not continue to be a part of an entity that supported AltaPointe. Jones has been vocal about abuse allegations at AltaPointe facilities and discussed a $7 million verdict against the company in a civil case where another patient allegedly raped a juvenile patient. That verdict will likely be appealed.
AltaPointe released a statement on Jones' concerns, saying all alleged incidents are thoroughly investigated.
"AltaPointe's goal is to provide the quality care that Alabamians deserve," the statement read. "We take all complaints and incident reports seriously and investigate each one thoroughly in a robust process. If a complaint is valid and an incident is confirmed, AltaPointe takes appropriate disciplinary action. There is also a path for complaints through the Alabama Department of Mental Health. As a state-funded and regulated entity, we fall under their oversight and cooperate with all of their investigative processes."
Jones served as the District 6 Councilman for a year and a half. During that time, he proposed to take funding from AltaPointe and move it over to VRR (Veterans Recovery Resources). He has also been outspoken on issues concerning the city's annexation discussions.
Jones said he plans to move from Mobile after his house sells. He told 1819 News he was at peace with his decision.
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