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Hammock presided over the Jan. 25 city council meeting ten days after being arrested in Baldwin County

Citizens petition for Hammock's dismissal

By Michael Butler

Tallassee residents have begun a process to remove Mayor Johnny Hammock from office. A petition has been devised that could recall the 2020 election outcome.

Alabama Code 11-44-130 - 11-44-134 regarding municipal commissioners and mayors requires signatures from 30 percent of registered voters in the last election.

In the 2020 general election, 1,171 voted in the mayor's race. A total of 352 signatures would be required for such action. The petition would then need to be presented to the City Clerk's office.

"We the following registered voters of Tallassee, Alabama do respectfully request that you instigate an election to be held for the purpose of recalling John Hammock who holds the office of Mayor," the petition states.

Hammock was arrested on a Class B Felony - Domestic Violence Strangulation charge on Jan. 15 in Orange Beach.

Hammock's wife Kim filed a Protection from Abuse Order at the Elmore County Judicial Complex in Wetumpka on Jan. 18.

The document states that the mayor physically assaulted his wife. "He choked me and told me he was going to kill me," she said.

On Jan. 31, Mr. Hammock filed for divorce through the Elmore County Circuit Clerk. Mrs. Hammock filed a complaint on the same date and a counter-complaint on Feb. 4.

In the counter-complaint, in regards to the recent domestic violence allegation, the document states:

"The husband has committed threats of violence and acts of violence against the wife by striking her with fists, kicking her, and choking her to the point of unconsciousness. Recently husband violently threw wife across a laundry room and punched, kicked, and choked her while she laid in a fetal position on the floor in an attempt to protect herself. Husband's acts of violence against wife have caused physical harm and injury to wife."

Hammock made a Facebook post on Jan. 29.

"Sometimes life seems like a constant struggle, " he wrote. "In my 47 years on this Earth I have had numerous successes and many failures. The only constant has been my family and close friends. They pick me up when I am down and I appreciate it more than you will ever know.

"I want to thank everyone who has reached out to me during the difficult time. With God, family and friends, I will make it though this challenging time in my life."

The Tallassee City Council requested state assistance in a resolution issued on Dec. 8, 2021, citing Mayor Hammock and other city personnel of misconduct. Allegations against Hammock include;

- Harrassment or harrassing communications directed to City of Tallassee employees and officials.

- The requirement that employees of the City of Tallassee work on or participate in businesses or projects that were not part of the operations of the City of Tallassee during regular work hours of the City of Tallassee.

- Purchase of equipment, goods and services without the approval of the Tallassee City Council to include but not be limited to (1) the purchase of a motor vehicle; (2) expenses related to the Mayor's campaign for the Alabama Public Service Commission; (3) payment to a business owned or controlled by the former Building Inspector for tree and shrubbery cutting and debris removal; and (4) seeking and receiving reimbursement from the City of Tallassee for certain expenses unrelated to City business or operations.

The council released a statement after Hammock's arrest.

"The Tallassee City Council has been working for months to address several reported issues in and around the city. Changes in personnel and procedures/processes have been made to address some of these issues, and the council remains resolute in their mission to fix any remaining matters.

"In regards to the recent arrest of the mayor, the council respectfully reminds all citizens that all persons charged with a crime are considered innocent until proven guilty. The council is aware of the arrest and charge, and will move forward discussing options with legal counsel. The council hopes for a quick resolution of all these matters."