Oak Grove City Council met Tuesday night for a regular meeting to discuss issues surrounding the city’s ethics committee as well as recent alleged misconduct by city officials and prior to the meeting’s adjournment, Councilwoman Kisha Mische-Jeffrey announced that she would be resigning from city council.

While the council did not have official business to be considered for voting on Tuesday night’s agenda, Councilmember Ed Cook brought several issues to the council for discussion, one of which was accusing Mayor Theresa Jarvis of misconduct at a previous meeting.

“There’s been some — I’m going to borrow this from another council member — some errors in professional conduct for opposing views,” Cook said to the council and those in attendance of the meeting.

“This happens to citizens of this town and to council members of the town. Mayor, you have asked police to arrest these people in the past. You’ve been rude to them … I’m asking for people to stand for (Councilwoman) Jackie Oliver for doing her job and this should never happen again.”

Cook was referring to an alleged incident at the previous council meeting in which council members and the mayor were in executive session when Jarvis allegedly verbally attacked Oliver for bringing an issue regarding another city employee.

Following Cook speaking and requesting that the people stand with Oliver at Tuesday’s meeting, residents in attendance clapped along with Cook to show that they were there to stand for Oliver.

Councilwoman Janet Edwards then suggested the council issue affidavits for the council members and city employees that were involved in the previous incident of alleged misconduct.

“There has been a lot of talk, inferences, innuendos and basically, a lot of gossip with no corroboration,” Edwards said. “I think that we are at the point where we need to get affidavits … I think they need to be signed affidavits, they need to be submitted to council and I think we need to get to the bottom of this, because there has been a lot of stuff thrown out that I don’t know if it’s true or not.

“But, I can tell you there’s opposing views. I’ve spoken to a couple of the people and nobody’s story matches up.”

Jeffrey shared that she believed the council did not need affidavits as the council as well as those who have attended council meetings have witnessed the same sort of alleged misconduct by either council members or city officials.

She continued to share that while this conduct has occurred previously, no one on the council has chosen to stand up against misconduct with the council’s support.

“So, we need to take a real long look at our own conduct and what we’ve allowed to happen and why we haven’t supported our council members when we should have,” Jeffrey said.

Councilwoman Jean Leavell shared that she is fed up with the council’s and city officials’ divisiveness and those involved need to be mature enough to talk to each other when an issue between parties presents itself.

“We’re all adults and it’s time for us to start acting like adults,” Leavell said.

Following the council discussing those misconduct-related issues in open session during the meeting, the council moved into a lengthy executive session to discuss issues between council members as well as city officials. However, no action was taken.

Prior to the issue of official misconduct, the council discussed the city’s Ethics Committee having trouble obtaining enough members to have a quorum to hold a meeting.

Jeffrey shared with the committee that it had been brought to her attention that since the Ethics Committee was formed some months ago, four ethics complaints had been filed, but had not been addressed by the Ethics Committee.

Jeffrey added that bringing the issue to city council is not a complaint against the Ethics Committee, but was instead intended to discuss how the council and city can better support the Ethics Committee to allow the committee to meet and address complaints.

Jeffrey and Cook then requested that the city consider finding alternate members to volunteer to serve on the Ethics Committee when the usual members are not able to meet.

Ethics Committee Member Jim Hurst then spoke to the council to clarify the issues the committee had been having. Hurst explained that all of the Ethics Committee members are committed to the committee and having meetings, but their work schedules had conflicted preventing meetings from being held.

Hurst also requested that the city find alternates to serve on the committee in the cases scheduling conflicts occur.

The council ultimately agreed and requested that the city post that it is searching for Oak Grove residents who care for the city and want to serve it, to volunteer as alternates for the committee.

If you are interested in serving on the Ethics Committee, you can contact Oak Grove City Hall at 270-439-4646.

Just before the council adjourned Tuesday night, Jeffrey announced that she would be resigning from her elected position on the council due to her being unable to work through the recent loss of her father and felt that it was unfair to continue to serve on the council without giving her best to the city’s residents.

“Unfortunately at this time, I am not willing or able to work through that grief,” Jeffrey said. “I do not believe that I have been able to meet my commitment to this city the way that I feel that I should based on the oath that I swore when I took office.

“I want to thank everyone for my time here. I will hold it dear for the rest of my life, but today, is my official announcement of resignation.”

Jeffrey added that she will continue to serve on the council until she can be officially replaced on council.

Jeffrey also thanked the citizens of Oak Grove for choosing her to represent them on the council.

“I hope that in the time that I have served as a city council member that I have been able to impart to everyone just what an honor it was for me,” Jeffrey said. “I see it as such a privilege to not only be elected, but through that election to feel trusted by those individuals who said ‘I want her, I want her to be my voice.’ ”

In other council news, the council voted unanimously to create a new committee focused on addressing the city’s parks. Leavell, Oliver and Edwards volunteered to serve on that parks committee.

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