BRYANT, Ark. – Bryant Mayor Allen Scott has stepped down from his office after the city council called for his resignation and gave him a vote of no confidence.
Issues became apparent when the Bryant City Council held a special session Monday night. The only agenda item was for the council to go into executive session — used when a government body has to discuss personnel issues.
Scott was asked not to join the council during its special session in a private room.
As seen on a video of the meeting, an hour and 15 minutes after going into executive session the council returned to the meeting room, and a motion was quickly made for the mayor to resign. The motion passed with 100% of the body voting in favor, with one member absent.
“I’ll take it under advisement,” Scott, who presided over the council meeting in his role as mayor, said.
Scott asked if the group was going to adjourn when council member Star Henson spoke up.
“I make a motion of no confidence for Mayor Scott to leave this city,” she said.
The motion quickly received a second and 100% of the body voted in favor.
An additional motion was made by council member Lisa Meyer that was far more detailed in scope and asked that the city’s personnel policy manual be revised “to amend duties assigned to the mayor and turn them over to council member Jason Brown.”
Her motion continued that the mayor should turn over all city property, including cell phones, keys to city buildings, laptop, credit card “and return all property that belongs to the city.”
She also called in her motion for the mayor’s car allowance to be discontinued and for him to resign from any committees, such as the Municipal League, where he represented the city. She acknowledged that the mayor retained certain duties derived from state law, despite any local changes.
The motion also passed unanimously and the meeting adjourned shortly thereafter.
At 1 p.m. Tuesday in a very brief news conference in front of Bryant city hall, city communication director Jordan Reynolds read from a prepared statement acknowledging the council had asked for Scott’s resignation and added a clarifying note.
“The city of Bryant wants to make it clear that this has nothing to do with the previously filed lawsuit by a former Bryant police officer,” Reynolds said. “Since city council was in executive session the city can not discuss what was disclosed, however, this matter deals with an EEOC complaint filed by a former employee.”
Jordan said the city and council were working closely “to resolve this matter quickly” and asked that any inquiries be directed to her. There were no questions after the statement was read, and Reynolds quickly left the speaker’s podium.
A lawsuit was filed Sept. 13 in Saline County District Court by a former city police detective. The suit alleged unfair treatment and discrimination.
KARK 4 News confirmed shortly after the conference that Scott has not resigned as mayor but has returned all city property.
Shortly after 4 p.m. Tuesday the city announced its mayor had resigned, effective Sept. 30.
“My resignation is best for the city and my physical and mental health,” Scott’s resignation letter concluded.
Bryant city attorney Ashley Clancey confirmed that there is a single EEOC complaint and that the city has returned its position statement to the agency. The EEOC has up to 10 months to complete its investigation and has not responded to the city since the city’s response was made.