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Un-fired? Midway mulls rehiring Murray

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By Erin Hill

Just weeks after firing Tom Murray, Midway City Council members are considering rehiring him after Murray threatened litigation.  At their Thursday, April 6, meeting, the city’s interim attorney, Anthony Thomas, said Murray’s attorney, Louis Jean-Baptiste, sent the city a letter of intent to sue.
In a previous interview with a Times reporter, City Manager Auburn Ford said he went to each council member separately and recommended letting Murray go because of repeated insubordination.  He said he asked each person if he had his or her support before making a decision to bring it before the board.
“I wasn’t going to bring a recommendation to the council if I new I didn’t have their support,” Ford said.
Thomas said Murray is alleging a violation of the Sunshine Law, and is alluding to wrongful termination.
Council Member Carolyn Francis, who withheld her vote on the termination, asked what could happen if Murray does sue.  Flowers said not only could Murray sue the city; he could also go after council members individually who voted in favor of firing him.   
Council Member David Knight said he is confident the termination was legal, and that they did not violate the Sunshine Law.
At one point in the meeting, Council Member Charles Smith said he wanted to rescind his vote, which would have meant Murray would be allowed to return to work the next day.
The council decided to wait and have a closed meeting with Murray and possibly his attorney before making a decision about whether or not to bring him back.
Meanwhile, Flowers will perform an investigation to find out if Murray’s termination was legal.
In other business, the council voted unanimously to elect Pamela Ademouyiwa and Latanja Peoples as the two new planning and zoning board members.