Birmingham City Council

O’Quinn Elected President of the Birmingham City Council — Again

New City Council Pro Tem Wardine Alexander and President Darrell O’Quinn. (Source: Birmingham City Council)

The Birmingham City Council in a special called meeting Friday elected Darryl O’Quinn as its president on a 5-3-1 vote after the legality of his initial election, on Tuesday, came into question.

O’Quinn was elected to the post Tuesday on a vote of 4-3-2, with other votes going to former President Wardine Alexander and Councilor Clinton Woods. That vote gave O’Quinn a plurality of votes but not a majority, which Woods later pointed out in requesting a new vote.

He called for a “thorough” and “extensive” investigation into how a vote that did not meet the majority requirement set in law had been accepted. He said he also wanted to know whether anyone had shown interest before that Tuesday meeting about passing items with four votes.

Woods sought to introduce a resolution setting up an investigative committee to look into potential malfeasance during the election. The committee would have two years to submit its report.

Such an investigation is needed to assure the public that the council’s votes are legitimate, he said.

He did not get a unanimous vote to add his resolution to Friday’s agenda and said he will submit it for a council agenda soon.

Alexander also was elected as president pro tem in Tuesday’s meeting. She won in a 5-4 vote, though. Her election is unchallenged, so a new round of voting wasn’t needed for the pro tem race.