FULTON • Fulton leaders have limited the mayor’s use of his city-owned car following this past weekend’s fistfight between Mayor Barry Childers and Itawamba County Sheriff’s Department deputy Andy Graham at a local bar and restaurant.
The Fulton Board of Aldermen voted unanimously to limit the use of the mayor’s car to weekday working hours, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and exclusively for city business. The mayor will also be permitted to drive the car to the annual mayor’s conference. Childers had driven the mayor’s car to the restaurant where the fight took place.
The vote was made during a special meeting Thursday night. Aldermen Liz Beasley and Brad Chatham requested the meeting.
Chatham opened the meeting by addressing the crowd of 40 or so citizens who gathered inside the city board room.
“We want to resolve this quickly,” Chatham said. “We all make mistakes, but there must be repercussions, and we must move on and be better.”
Before the meeting began, Childers read a prepared apology.
“I recently was involved in a physical altercation at a local Fulton establishment,” Childers said. “I want to sincerely apologize for my actions. It is never appropriate to solve differences in this way, and I have great remorse for my behavior – not only disappointment in myself, but more importantly, the disappointment to the citizens of Fulton, who placed me in the honorable position of mayor. With this position comes both professional and personal responsibility to conduct myself with integrity and honor at all times. Please accept my apology with my deepest regrets and allow me the privilege to move forward with a renewed commitment to the citizens of Fulton and the betterment of our city.”
Childers said his actions had hurt many people, including his own family.
Beasley thanked Childers for his apology, but noted it was unfortunate that the meeting had to be called in the first place.
Childers and Graham were involved in a brief fight at Legends Sports Grille on Saturday night. A video of the fight was shared with WTVA, which posted it on Sunday night, albeit without initially identifying either Childers or Graham. The video begins with the two men in apparent conversation seconds before Childers strikes Graham. Graham then strikes back and the two men begin to grapple with one another.
Fulton Police Chief Mitch Nabors later confirmed the identities of both men. Currently, neither are facing charges.