Mayor breaks tie, commission approves $700,000 contract for Dothan judge

Mayor Mark Saliba broke a rare tie to extend the municipal judge's controversial contract for another four years.
Published: Nov. 21, 2023 at 10:35 AM CST
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - Mayor Mark Saliba broke a rare tie, and Dothan city commissioners approved a four-year contract extension on Tuesday that pays Municipal Judge Rose Evans-Gordon $176,000 annually.

With two commissioners—Bradley Bedwell and Gantt Pierce—absent, an effort to postpone the vote failed.

Commissioners Kevin Dorsey and Aristotle Kirkland insisted that the vote occur on Tuesday when it appeared on the commission’s agenda.

“I want to know when I leave here if I have a job or not,” Evans-Gordon told commissioners.

Dorsey and Kirkland voted on the new pact, while Commissioners John Ferguson and David Crutchfield opposed the deal, leaving Saliba to break the stalemate.

Gordon’s salary, effective December 1, keeps her among the highest-paid municipal judges in Alabama and is comparable to Houston County circuit judges with similar experience.

The city recently revealed that unpaid fines and court costs levied in the past 20 years are overdue by $15 million and recently solicited a collection service to collect them. About half of that money would go to the state of Alabama.

“I feel rushed,’ said Commissioner David Crutchfield before he voted against the contract. “I’m asking to get information (before I decide).

Evans-Gordon said she is working to correct deficiencies; she claims she learned of some only three weeks ago.

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