- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 3, 2016

WHITE CASTLE, La. (AP) - White Castle Mayor Jermarr Williams is defending several pay increases he received that have been publicly called into question by former Alderman Garnell Young.

The Advocate reports (https://bit.ly/1X3sNzV ) that Williams’ annual salary jumped from $28,000 to $50,835 in 2015 through a series of votes by the town’s Board of Aldermen - all of which Williams and the town’s attorney say were lawful.

Williams said his pay during his first term had been $42,240 a year before a previous Board of Aldermen - that he says was dominated by his political foes - cut it to $28,000 in February 2014.

The current board raised the mayor’s salary to $42,240 in February 2015 and later approved additional hikes.

Young recently said he felt town officials were hiding something because the town clerk refused to respond to 40 public records requests he submitted.

Williams attributed Young’s complaints to sour grapes over Young’s failed attempt to win re-election in 2014.

“He’s just mad he lost,” Williams said. “It’s like he just wants to defame my character to get me off course of all the positive things I want to do for this town.”

Young and fellow resident June Landry, who lost her bid for mayor to Williams in 2014, sued the town in November accusing town officials of not adhering to the state’s public records laws. They’ve asked a judge to order the officials to produce the numerous records they’ve requested.

The trial in their lawsuit over access to public records is set to resume later this month. It had to be recessed because the town’s clerk fell ill on the witness stand and was unable to continue her testimony.

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Information from: The Advocate, https://theadvocate.com

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