City employee rehired after allegedly attacking co-worker with box cutter

HELENA-WEST HELENA, Ark. -- A city employee is back on the job, but still facing a felony criminal charge, after he allegedly attacked a co-worker with a box cutter.

Michael Alexander was fired from his job at the Helena Municipal Water System last month following the incident on September 1.

But last Tuesday, city council voted to give him a new position at his old salary in addition to back pay.

Mayor Jay Hollowell told WREG Alexander started working with the city's code enforcement and street departments last Wednesday.

He said all fired city employees have the opportunity to appeal their termination, which Alexander did.

In the alleged September attack, police said Alexander cut through the victim's shirt and slashed his chest.

"It was actually an altercation. Both indiviudals had words inside the workplace and it led to this incident," said police chief James Smith.

Alexander was charged with battery in the second degree -- a felony.

Hollowell confirms Alexander was put on administrative leave October 4 and fired October 16 because of the incident.

WREG could not reach Alexander Monday night for his version of events, but police told WREG it's not the first time they've received complaints about him stemming from his behavior with co-workers.

"Horseplaying, complaints of possibility that Mr. Alexander had brandished a weapon, brought weapons to the workplace once before. That's pretty much what the complaints were all about," said Smith.

Attempts to reach multiple city council members were unsuccessful.

One referred WREG to the mayor who said council members would be better able to explain the reasoning behind their decision to reinstate Alexander.