River Falls town services stalled this week
Published 12:05 am Thursday, September 6, 2012
Town business is at a standstill in River Falls after law enforcement executed a search warrant on town hall and the current mayor’s home and place of business on Aug. 28.
On Wednesday The Star-News confirmed that Maryann Andrews has resigned as the town clerk, that garbage collection has ceased, and police service temporarily stalled – all because no one has gotten paid for their time on the job since the investigation began in River Falls.
The Star-News has learned that the town’s checkbooks were included in the items seized during the search; however, the Covington County District Attorney’s Office remains tightlipped about the case, not disclosing the nature of the search or any of the items seized.
About a month before the Aug. 28 municipal election, Andrews was appointed as the town clerk after The Star-News reported Mayor Mary Hixon, who was acting as mayor and town clerk, had qualified council candidates for seats in the wrong district.
The Star-News also revealed that Hixon had sold the former town hall property without council approval and to a man living in her home for the last decade.
Since then, the man, identified as Richard Moss, has
resigned from his post as the Coffee County Jail administrator. On Wednesday, Moss, sent a text message to a Star-News reporter, stating that, “For information concerning me and the investigation, contact (Montgomery attorney) Joe Hubbard.”
Hixon, who was re-elected as mayor, is now acting as the town clerk again, Andrews said.
“I’ve resigned as city clerk, but I still work here as court clerk,” Andrews said. “I decided I needed to separate myself from all that.”
When questioned how town business, such as payroll and bill payment, was being handled, Andrews said she didn’t know, but could confirm that the town’s garbage collector had resigned as well because he wasn’t getting paid. On Wednesday, a home in front of town hall had piles of garbage sitting out front.
“I know because I’ve had complaints about the garbage not being picked up,” she said. “I was told that he was working through September, but (the garbage) is not being picked up.”
River Falls Police Chief Greg Jackson, who has served at the salaried post for the last two years, said Wednesday that he parked the RFPD patrol car on Sun., Sept. 2, as he was unsure if the insurance had been paid on the vehicle.
Late Wednesday afternoon, he said he had received a paycheck and was resuming work.
Andrews said court proceedings will continue as usual.
Attempts to reach Hixon were unsuccessful.