Simon Speights is the mayor of Lipscomb, Alabama. He got the job back in 2005 when his predecessor resigned and the City Council voted him in. But Speights isn’t exactly eligible to be mayor.
Speights pleaded guilty to burglary in 1994, and while his voting rights have since been restored, his right to run for political office has not. Records show Speights occasionally uses the surname Speight, which might account for no one realizing the mayor’s criminal record. Oh, and he’s driving a stolen car (no one knows how he got it). And he’s collecting more than twice his authorized salary (no one knows how that happened). Last week, the local district attorney demanded that a judge remove the mayor from office.
But wait, it gets worse:
But who would replace him? The mayor pro tempore is Gaston Randle, a city councilman and the former police commissioner. Randle might not be the man people want in charge; last month he resigned his commissioner job after being indicted for stalking a local Hispanic woman. And more recently, Randle has been charged with extortion, bribing and impersonating an officer.
But wait, it gets worse (I'm not kidding):
Next in line for mayor would be City Councilman David Horn. But Horn was charged two weeks ago with impersonating a police officer. Apparently Horn was annoyed with a citizen who challenged him on fire safety statutes and so threatened to arrest him. He then pulled out an honorary police commission card and claimed to be a sheriff.
Horn posted bail for the incident, but then the police realized he was wanted in connection to an outstanding charge of domestic violence. He was promptly rearrested.
Alas, it gets worse:
What is it with this perfect storm of small-town corruption? Well, the county sheriff first began an investigation of the Lipscomb police (the second in three years) after receiving allegations that officers were harassing Hispanic citizens. The sheriff found that the cops were shaking down pretty much everyone, regardless of ethnicity. And in the process, he found much to investigate at the city council.
I'm not sure if there's an actual ranking but I'm quite certain that Lipscomb would have to be rated one of the worst cities in America...