Port Gibson woman accuses alderman of assault

Published 11:43 am Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A complaint has been filed against a Port Gibson alderman by a resident of the city who claims he assaulted her after the two argued following a called board meeting, police Chief Kelvin Jackson said this morning.

Ann Katzenmier, 66, 1307 Church St., said Alderman Marvin Ratliff grabbed her arm and “threw” her “like rag doll” several feet from where she was standing near his truck, talking to his children after the meeting. Katzenmier said she was treated at Patients’ Choice Medical Center emergency room for a sprain and severe bruises.

No criminal charges have been filed by police against Ratliff, Jackson said. Simple assault is a misdemeanor.

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Reached this morning, Ratliff, an employee of Claiborne County’s emergency management office, said he was in the middle of a graded exercise and did not have time to comment.

Jackson said Katzenmier and Ratliff will appear in Port Gibson Municipal Court to tell their sides of the story, perhaps as early as Friday.

“She advised that after the board meeting she was talking to Mr. Ratliff’s kids,” said Jackson. “He told her to get away from his kids, and one thing led to another, and he grabbed her by the arm, she said, and slung her out of the way. He said he didn’t sling her, he put his arm up to move her out of the way and his arm made contact with her.”

Jackson said he told Ratliff, “Any time you make contact, that can be an assault.”

The incident followed a special meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen. Port Gibson financial director Elvin Parker said the board approved a Christmas parade and ratified an additional portion of an emergency loan resolution initially approved Aug. 25 authorizing the city to apply for $425,000 loans from the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality and the Department of Health.

Parker said the emergency loans, which will go to fix water and sewer issues, have not yet been approved.

The city has struggled with financial problems for a number of years and in the past has taken out several loans to pay operating expenses such as electricity bills.

On June 6, the city took out a $500,000 line of credit from Concordia Bank and Trust in Vidalia, La., which is to be repaid by March 15. Parker said repayment will come from tax revenues expected to be received in the 2011-2012 fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1.