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Ferguson Mayor, Under Fire, Says He Shouldn’t Be Held Accountable

Ferguson Mayor James Knowles speaks during a meeting of the Ferguson City Council Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. The meeting is the first for the city council since the fatal shooting of Michael Brown by a city police officer. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Ferguson Mayor James Knowles speaks during a meeting of the Ferguson City Council Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Aamer Madhani, USA TODAY

 
FERGUSON, Mo. (USA Today)— The top elected official here says he had limited authority to tackle enormous problems and quell racial tensions.

“I make $350 a month before taxes for being part-time mayor of Ferguson,” Mayor James Knowles told USA TODAY. “You want to hold me accountable for not knowing that some employees were sending racist e-mails. I have no executive authority. I have no administrative authority. The charter doesn’t allow me to hire, fire or even give direction to city employees.”

Ferguson’s city manager, police chief and municipal judge have been forced out of their jobs, after a Justice Department probe published earlier this month found that Ferguson police and the city’s municipal court had engaged in systemic patterns of misconduct.

 

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