The Bonifay City Council held an emergency meeting on Tuesday, September 5, to address the resignation of Mayor Dr. Emily McCann and the termination of Police Chief Jimmy Macon.
McCann resigned on Tuesday afternoon in a brief letter citing safety concerns.
“The constant and recent threats against the safety of my council, employees and family are too much,” states the letter. “While it has been a dream to support the city in this capacity, I cannot continue to put the safety of my family and myself at risk.”
According to City Attorney Michelle Jordan a former Bonifay police officer, along with others in the community, were allegedly making threats on social media towards McCann. “Information on McCann’s whereabouts, her home, and visitors to her home were also posted,” said Jordan. “These were believed to be intended to intimidate McCann”
Per the city charter, Vice-Mayor Larry Cook became Interim Mayor and the council voted James Sellers in as the new vice- mayor.
Mayor Cook advised the council and those in attendance of the termination of Bonifay Police Chief Jimmy Macon.
A letter addressed to Chief Macon from Mayor Cook explained the reasons for his termination citing negligence and insubordination. The letter states, “The purpose of this letter is to notify you of your termination from employment with the City of Bonifay, effective immediately. Due to your negligence in leaving your badge and service weapon in the Golden Corral restaurant in Dothan, AL. on August 15 and for your insubordination and unprofessional conduct at the August 28, regular city council meeting.
The letter further states employees submitted memorandums regarding feeling unsafe during the August 28 meeting which were placed in Macon’s personnel file.
Cook states the safety of co-workers and citizens are top priority and that this action did not come lightly.
Comments from those in attendance went unanswered per Florida Statute 286.0114 3(a), which states: an official act that must be taken to deal with an emergent situation affecting the public health, welfare or safety, if compliance with the requirements would cause unreasonable delay in the ability of the board or commission to act;
Johnny Whitaker was appointed as Interim Police Chief with Chuck White retaining the second in command position with the Bonifay Police Department.
The vacant seat on the council is expected to be filled in an upcoming meeting.
The Bonifay City Council will meet again in regular session at 6 p.m. on September 11.