The incident took place in Spanish Fort on or around Oct. 1.
According to the criminal complaint (pdf), Mayor Mike McMillan hit Lindsey Cooper while arguing with her, “telling her to shut up and slapping her in the face with his hand.”
McMillan was booked for harassment.
McMillan was released on $500 bond about an hour after his arrest on Oct. 31, according to jail records. He is slated to appear in court on Dec. 19.
Spanish Fort City Attorney David Conner said that the alleged slap took place while McMillan and the woman were working at city hall.
“She alleges that happened, that was done,” Conner told WALA. “I’m sure the mayor would take a different position about that as to how that occurred, and we’ll let that unfold and go from there.”
He said the city started investigating less than a week after the incident occurred, though the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office didn’t learn of the incident for several weeks.
Conner said footage from video cameras inside city hall captured the incident.
“There is some video footage that the cameras did catch,” Conner said. “We’ve had some request for those records, we’re reviewing those requests now and we’re giving responses as they relate to those requests.”
In a statement, the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office said McMillan turned himself in after he was told of the misdemeanor harassment charge, reported Gulf Coast News Today.
The reported slapping was reported to the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division, which investigated and ultimately found cause for the charge, prompting the warrant for third-degree harassment.
McMillan has not commented on the situation, nor has Cooper. The sheriff’s office nor the city has issued any statements that are available publicly.
Indiana Mayor Charged
The mayor of Michigan City, Indiana, was also charged last month.
Mayor Ron Meer was charged with five felony counts of intimidation, two counts of false informing and felony misconduct, court records showed.
The charges came after Meer asked Police Chief Mark Swistek to stop cooperating with the LaPorte County drug task force, according to WSBT. Swistek resigned instead, as did two assistant chiefs.
The taskforce had arrested Meer’s stepson, Adam Bray.
“I apologized for my choice of words to the Chief during a private, heated discussion,” Meer said in a statement following the resignations. “I did not mean what I said to Chief Swistek and I had no intention of reassigning any officers on the LaPorte County Drug Taskforce.”
Scott King, who was considering representing Meer, told NWI.com that the case, coming five days before the mayoral election, “really has a smell to it.”
“I find it absolutely incredible that any reputable prosecutor would ask for charges on the eve of an election,’’ King said. LaPorte County John Lake said the case had nothing to do with the election.