A Meridian city councilman attempted to remove the salary of the city's chief administrative officer Tuesday, based on concerns about an audio recording that was posted and shared online this week.
Ward 5 City Councilman Weston Lindemann, addressing the council, said the move was “in light of the recent indefensible words and actions that have come out of the mayor's (administration) that we heard on this recording, including threats of violence and release of autopsy photos.”
Lindemann said later that he was referring to a recording that appeared to be of CAO Richie McAlister threatening violence against Lindemann and discussing photos related to the death of Christian Andreacchio.
Meridian Police ruled the 21-year-old's 2014 death a suicide, but his mother has said the family has reason to believe he was killed.
At the city council meeting Tuesday, Lindemann made a motion to decrease the budget for executive personnel by $99,000 and use the money for the salary and benefits for the city's new parks and recreation director.
Fellow council members did not second Lindemann's motion, and instead voted to pull $99,000 for the parks and recreation position from a legislative account, as written on the city council's agenda.
“I barely even knew how to respond today because it’s just so unfathomable anybody would act that way in a position of leadership,” Lindemann said, following the meeting.
In April, Lindemann proposed the elimination of McAlister's salary, but Mayor Percy Bland vetoed a 3-2 vote that was in favor of the pay cut.
Bland said Tuesday that he was aware of the recording but had not listened to it in full.
“I need to listen to the tape and to its entirety and listen to what is being said,” he said.
McAlister declined comment.