Barrett Is T'Town Mayor Again
Ulysses Simpson Grant Barrett Jr. is mayor of Taylortown again.
Nothing on the agenda for Tuesday night's meeting of the town council gave any hint of what council member Charlotte Worthy was about to do.
She apologized publicly for what she described as listening to other board members and listening to people in town instead of to her heart and what she knew of the man. After being elected to the council last year, Worthy joined with Jesse Fuller and Ellis Ray to elect Fuller as mayor, displacing Barrett. Ray became mayor pro tem, supplanting Jeff Moody.
At Tuesday's meeting, she asked Barrett whether he would consider becoming mayor again, and upon his assent moved that he be mayor instead of Fuller and that Moody again become mayor pro tem.
Barrett, who had been on the council for 16 years and served as mayor for most of those years, had been a lightning bolt for controversy, a controversy that culminated with the State Bureau of Investigation arresting him on three misdemeanor charges in January 2007. One of the charges would have barred him from holding public office if convicted.
Barrett was re-elected to the council in November 2007. He was cleared of all charges in March.
Originally launched by former District Attorney Garland Yates, an investigation resulted in the three charges against Barrett. He was accused of violating state laws by acting as a town manager while holding the position of mayor, benefiting from a public contract while being a public officer and violating a fraud statute for allegedly paying a resident's legal bill without the permission of the council.
The motion to return Barrett to the position of mayor carried 3 to 1, with Fuller opposing. Ray was absent and so was counted as having cast an affirmative vote.
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