Atlantic Beach Mayor arrested
Wed, 28 Jan 2009 20:32:02 GMT —
Atlantic Beach Mayor Retha Pierce was arrested Wednesday afternoon for disorderly conduct and trespassing. This, just a day before she will stand trial on another charge from more than a year ago.
Wednesday's events appear to be the result of serious tension between town officials, tension Atlantic Beach has come to know well over the past couple of years.
From what Atlantic Beach police say, Pierce went to town hall Wednesday afternoon and got in an argument with a town clerk and the interim town manager.
Police say she demanded they give her an office - something no other Atlantic Beach mayor has ever had.
When asked to leave, police say she refused, so they arrested her for disorderly conduct and trespassing.
Pierce was brought to J. Reuben Long Detention Center for a bond hearing. A judge set bond at $585.
Pierce was recently elected mayor after three elections over the span of about a year, each one ordered after a court battle.
The drama of that process has left much of the town divided.
Pierce left the jail in a hurry Wednesday, dodging reporters, but one of her friends spoke on her behalf, saying Pierce isn't getting the respect she deserves.
"The problem we have here is that the city council and those who sit beside her do not respect her authority. The city manager doesn't respect her authority. Other folks in Atlantic Beach do not respect her authority," said Mustafah Abdullah, Pierce's friend.
Pierce will be court on March 10th on these charges. But first, she's scheduled to be in court Thursday morning on a resisting arrest charge she got in December 2007 when she was a town council member.
That resisting arrest trial ended in a mistrial the first time around.