MOUNT ENTERPRISE — Rosena Becker-Ross remains an employee of the city of Mount Enterprise, though she’s getting neither pay nor benefits.
The Mount Enterprise City Council voted Tuesday night to keep the embattled administrator of municipal government and court matters on unpaid administrative leave. It also voted to seek out temporary help at City Hall — both by unanimous vote — during a special called meeting.
“I thought we’d have something settled tonight, but now we’re just going around in circles like we were before,” local business owner Barbara Russell said.
Council members called the special meeting Tuesday to talk with attorneys for nearly two hours behind closed doors about Becker-Ross and about a civil lawsuit that former City Marshal Parker Sweeney filed against the city — along with Mayor Harvey Graves, City Councilman Johnny Fryman and Becker-Ross — alleging that he was fired as retaliation by the city after he told state investigators that Becker-Ross illegally ordered him to meet traffic quotas — an investigation that led to her criminal conviction last month in a Rusk County court.
Council members Brandon Jones and Jim Reese entered the motions for keeping Becker-Ross on unpaid leave and opening applications for temporary office help. Both Jones and Reese were elected to the council in November.
Rusk County grand jurors in October indicted Becker-Ross on three counts of abuse of official capacity.
Russell and her husband were among at least a half-dozen residents and media people who waited through intermittent rainfall for the city’s decision Tuesday.
The Russells left the meeting dismayed that the city didn’t fire Becker-Ross.
“We need to make a decision, set it in stone (and) go forward,” she said. “You can never get anything accomplished by stonewalling.”
Council members didn’t give a timetable for how long Becker-Ross would remain on unpaid leave.