Buzz: Battle over interim city attorney

Mayor Ashton Hayward wants to hire the Messer Law Firm as the interim city attorney for $10K per month. Jim Messer is a former assistant county attorney for Escambia County.

The mayor’s problem is City Council President Maren DeWeese doesn’t have it on the agenda for the Monday council committee meetings. On Friday afternoon, John Asmar, Hayward’s chief of staff, asked, on behalf of the mayor, that it be added to the Mayor’s Communications part of the agenda. DeWeese refused to make any agenda changes at such a late date.

Mayor Hayward has bypassed Council President DeWeese and asked the city council to amend its Committee of the Whole agenda to place the Messer contract on it for discussion and approval. The council can vote to add agenda items and the mayor has the right to request it.

Progressive Pensacola has the blow-by-blow of DeWeese’s side of the issue. There is an odd conspiracy twist by PP that this is a plot by Asmar to get the position for Messer, who once rented office space in the same building as Asmar’s law firm.