UPDATE, Friday: The Holly Springs Mayor uploaded video footage of the alleged incident on Facebook, along with the following statement:
“Greetings Holly Springs! I appreciate your prayers and concerns regarding the frivolous and defaming allegations made against me by a City employee. Sadly, those allegations have been shared to Facebook, several television stations, and word of mouth. In the best interest of the City, I am releasing the full unedited video because a “picture is worth a thousand words”, and this video may save thousands of taxpayer dollars and hours of distraction. I appreciate your continued prayers and support for the City of Holly Springs, the City of History and Hospitality.“
HOLLY SPRINGS, Miss. — There is unrest at City Hall in Holly Springs after the mayor is accused of assaulting the town’s human resources director.
Pat Dawson, Human Resources Director for the City of Holly Springs, claims Mayor Sharon Gipson assaulted her Tuesday in City Hall. Dawson says the incident happened as Dawson was carrying folders with job applications prior to a board meeting.
“I want her to be arrested. I want her to be held accountable just like anybody else would be accountable if you attacked any other person for no reason,” Dawson said. “She decided to yank it out of my hand, barricade my way to get on the elevator where I was headed to my office, and then to push and shove.”
Dawson says the Mayor was pushing and pulling at her and continued to block her way.
“‘What are you doing?’ She says, ‘You’re going to give me these folders, you going to give them to me,'” Dawson said.
Dawson believes Gipson’s outburst stems from the community’s frustration with the Holly Springs Utility Department, how the Mayor is running what’s called a “failing” system, and Dawson’s outspoken concerns about HSUD.
Thursday, WREG tried to get Gipson to address Dawson’s accusations and give her side of the story.
“If you’ll leave your name and number, I’ll be back in the building, so if you leave your name and number I’ll be back,” Gipson told WREG.
In a little over two hours the Mayor did return but told WREG an appointment was needed to see her.
In the meantime, Dawson says she filed simple assault charges and wants the Board of Aldermen to take action.
“This is something that should not happen to anyone and certainly not to professional women. working in a city for the city government for the City of Holly Springs,” Dawson said.
Dawson says the incident was recorded on camera about 45 minutes before Tuesday’s Board meeting, but she didn’t know whether the video would be available.
WREG has learned a probable cause hearing has yet to be scheduled.