*How embarrassing. A fight broke out at City Hall on Tuesday between the mayor of Birmingham and a city councilman, sending both men to the hospital.
According to the AP, reporters covering the council meeting said they heard a man shout “No, No!” during the rumble, which took place in a small room outside the chamber. After the dust settled, Mayor William Bell and Councilman Marcus Lundy both emerged with minor injuries.
Bell was taken to the hospital in a private car, while Lundy was transported in an ambulance.
No official word yet on who started the scrap, or what it was over. However, Council President Johnathan Austin said at a news conference that the mayor assaulted the councilman, and that Lundy planned to press charges. Austin showed photos of scrapes on the back of Lundy’s left leg.
— Brittany Bivins (@BrittanyBivTV) December 15, 2015
A spokeswoman for the mayor, April Odom, issued a statement saying an arrest warrant would be taken out on Lundy, who she said refused to talk to police afterward. The city tweeted that Bell, 66, was undergoing an MRI and CT scan following the fight.
Councilwoman Kim Rafferty said there have been power struggles between Bell and the council for a while.
“Boys need to grow up and be men and do the job they were elected to do,” she said. “They need to sit across the table and talk about conflict resolution.”
Bell, a former council member, has been mayor since 2010. He briefly spoke at a law enforcement training session that included a mention of workplace violence before the council meeting but missed a chamber of commerce luncheon afterward.
Lundy, elected in 2013, has worked as an executive with several companies. He chairs the council’s Economic Development, Budget and Finance Committee.
Watch Council President Austin’s news conference below, followed by the police chief’s presser regarding the fight: