Sunbright women arrested during city council meeting

12:02 AM, Apr 13, 2013   |    comments
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Three Morgan County women arrested Thursday night during the Sunbright City Council meeting have bonded out of jail.

The arrests were captured on video and a clip was posted on Facebook. Dozens of people have commented on the video clip defending the women.

Sandra Spurling and Machelle Cooper have been charged with disrupting a meeting and are out of jail on a $1,000 bond. Jo Ann Henry has been charged with disorderly conduction and resisting arrest. Henry is out of jail on a $4,000 bond.

In the video clip, Spurling, the City of Sunbright's former Recorder, was sitting in the audience and attempted to ask Mayor Dennis Reagan to remove her name from a city bank account.

Spurling said, "The mayor asked if there were any discussion and I said, 'Mayor would you please' and he slammed his hammer down. I said, 'Mayor Reagan all I want to ask is that you take my name off the city's accounts'. And at that time Police Chief Dagley said you're under arrest and came and took me to jail."

Machelle Cooper, Spurling's niece, said, "And [Chief Allen Dagley] looked right at me and said, 'Machelle if you come out of your chair you will be arrested'. I sat there for a couple of seconds and thought about it and I felt like he was singling me out and wanted me to stand up. Obviously I was upset for my aunt being arrested and I stood up and let them arrest me."

Jo Ann Henry was on the council's agenda to speak. Immediately after addressing the council, Henry told Chief Dagley to arrest her too.

Henry said, "I just walked up to Officer Dagley and told him, 'You've taken my family to jail you might as well take me too'. And at that point he grabbed his handcuffs out and handcuffed me and he was hurting me."

Chief Dagley said the city's attorney advised him not to answer any questions on camera regarding the incident. Chief Dagley did say there's more to the story and that there have been similar interruptions in the past few months involving Spurling and others. Chief Dagley said at Thursday night's meeting he warned everyone that if they speak they would be arrested and taken to jail.

Sunbright's Mayor Dennis Reagan said on the phone the city council meetings are classified as business meeting, not public meeting. He said discussion is limited to council members unless members of the public request ahead of time to be added to the agenda.

For her part, purling said several people have been trying to get added to the agenda for months and have had no luck.

Spurling, Cooper, and Henry are expected to appear in court Thursday, April 18th at 8:30 a.m.

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