Council to elect new mayor soon

Published 6:46 pm Thursday, October 11, 2012

River Falls is a town without a mayor, but one councilwoman says it won’t be long before a new person is chosen to lead the town.

Mary Hixon, who’d served as the town’s mayor for more than 30 years, pleaded guilty Thursday to stealing $201,611 in town funds. She was ordered to pay back the money and was sentenced to 10 years in prison; however, because of her age, was placed on probation for five years. Under the plea agreement, two conditions were placed on her probation – one, that she testify against any accomplices, and two, that she resign her position as mayor.

Councilwoman Mattie Freeney said District Attorney Walt Merrell met with the town council Wednesday following Hixon’s arrest.

“Right now, we decided not to do anything until the new council takes office,” said Freeney. The swearing in of the new council will be held on Nov. 6,” she said. “Then, the council will elect a new mayor and appoint our town officials, like clerk and police chief.

“After that, we’re going to get the town’s legal and financial matters settled and work to move the town forward,” she said.

Freeney said council members were not shocked to hear the news about Hixon’s arrest, but only commented, “We know there are a lot of issues we have to work through. I think the council has come to terms with everything that’s happened, and like I said, we’re ready to move forward.”