More than a month after Richard’s Disposal Inc. was hired to collect residents’ garbage, Jackson City Council filed a lawsuit Wednesday against Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba, asking a judge to prevent the mayor from vetoing a no vote from the council.
During an April 1 special meeting, the council voted twice not to ratify a contract for the New Orleans-based company. Lumumba vetoed the no vote and said the one-year emergency contract remains valid.
Through the veto power, the executive branch has limited legislative power. The complaint says the mayor could potentially veto any no council vote without a majority vote.
“Allowing the mayor to veto a negative action of the council, and then implement what the council voted not to do would give the mayor legislative power, which is contrary to Mississippi Law,” the complaint states.
Attorney John Scanlon, who is representing the council with Attorney Deshun Martin, said the lawsuit was filed because Special Judge Jess Dickinson in chancery court and Circuit Court Judge Faye Peterson have declined to hear the issue.
A spokesperson for Lumumba did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Scanlon said the council wants the veto question to be heard, but not for it to have an affect on the city’s garbage pickup.
“This lawsuit is not about stopping garbage from being picked up,” he said.
The Wednesday lawsuit is one of several that have been filed in the circuit and chancery courts since March relating to a garbage contract.
Reporter Mina Corpuz can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow her on Twitter @mlcorpuz.