In the midst of a sexual harassment lawsuit the mayor of Jackson is facing city layoffs and dealing with infrastructure woes.
Thursday evening, Jackson Mayor Tony Yarber is updating residents on how the city is spending nearly $32 million raised through a 1 percent sales tax to fund repairing roads, bridges and waterlines. Sections of 20 streets have been resurfaced and more than 30 projects are approved.
"Engineering design work has been done. We've seen a lot of street resurfacing that's taken place in neighborhoods and looking forward to getting started with what we call our major streets," said Yarber.
Yarber is facing some major issues as he deals with crumbling infrastructure. His former executive assistant Kimberly Bracey, has filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against him. In the lawsuit, Bracey says she had a sexual relationship with Yarber while separated from her husband. Yarber is married. It goes on to say when Bracey and her husband reconciled, Yarber forced her to continue the relationship or risk losing her job. Bracey also alleges city workers went out of town with the mayor and partied with strippers. Yarber says he's fighting the lawsuit and isn't resigning.
"I have no intention of stepping down. People who step down are guilty," said Yarber.
Yarber has hired his own attorney. In addition to the lawsuit, the city is in the midst of a reorganization that will mean lay-offs. The mayor says he doesn't know how many workers will be impacted, until the city council passes the 2017 budget. They have to pass one by September 15. Jackson resident Felicia McClinton is here for the update. She says her focus isn't on the lawsuit, but on the city budget.
"As far as people losing their jobs. But I'm waiting to see what happens," said McClinton.
About 30 Jackson city employees have been notified their jobs could be cut.