BAYOU LA BATRE, Ala. (WPMI) The federal trial against Bayou la Batre Mayor Stan Wright continued Wednesday with key testimony. Wright also talked to Local 15 News, saying he wants to tell his side of the story.
On the stand Wednesday morning was former Police Captain Darryl Wilson. Wilson said Wright demoted him after he became a witness in the fraud case.
Wilson addressed the second set of charges in the indictment, that the mayor retaliated against the former Bayou officer after he began cooperating with the FBI in 2011, as the agency began investigating the mayor.
Wilson described for the jury his version of what happened, tearfully choking up twice on the stand. He said he spent 11 years serving the city, gaining praise, awards and commendation. But he said there were no complaints from the mayor.
But less than two months after meeting with FBI agents, his problems began, Wilson saying the mayor sent him a letter stripping him of overtime work with a federal drug task force. Wilson also testified that the mayor went over the chief's head, taking Wilson's work vehicle and replacing it with the worst car in the fleet.
He said the mayor then assigned him to patrol duty, something not custom for someone of his professional rank.
"I felt threatened, intimidated," he said, fighting tears. "It's made me second guess whether I should have stepped up at all."
Unlike the mayor, Wilson offered no comment as he left the courthouse, only admitting it had been a rough day.
Wright talked to Local 15's Darwin Singleton Wednesday moments after walking out of court. He said he wants to tell his side of the story.
"I've been beat up. My children's been beat up. Our community has been beat up. My business has been effected. Now it's time for my side to come out, and that's what is coming out today. Greedy people, greedy people make bad things happen. So, the judge will figure it out. I don't want to say too much at this point. God knows my heart and my people know me," said Wright.
"It's been a rough year and a half and I'm ready for it to be over, over so we can move on and be where we need to be."
The prosecution could wrap up Thursday, with defense witnesses expected to finish the week. The trial could extend into next week.