Vandals leave another mark on mayor, city

By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers

The damage seemed limited, but while a 2008 Hummer belonging to Taylor Mayor Jeffrey Lamarand was easily repaired, the rocks thrown through the rear window dealt yet another blow to the city’s politically-troubled reputation.

Lamarand contacted city police the morning of Sept. 9 after discovering that overnight vandals broke the back window of his vehicle.

Police Commander Mary Sclabassi confirmed that a report was filed.

“The mayor reported that someone had thrown two rocks inside his Hummer and the back window had been broken out,” Sclabassi said.

Nothing was stolen, although a memorial window decal honoring Taylor Police Cpl. Matthew Edwards — killed in the line of duty in July 2010 — was partially peeled off.

“It’s a broken window, and we repaired it,” Lamarand said. “It’s unfortunate that my family has to be subjected to people disagreeing with actions I have to take, but that’s political life.”

Lamarand is facing a recall election in November. Supporters of the recall effort included among their motivations the layoffs of city employees this year, including police and fire personnel.

Sclabassi said that the vandalism is being investigated, but Lamarand harbored little hopes of identifying the suspects.

“I don’t think there’s any way to know” who smashed his window with two patio stones, he said. “There are more important things for the police to investigate.”

News of the vandalism spread quickly on local television and newspapers, the latest in a series of stories casting Taylor in a less-than-welcoming light. Lamarand hopes the negative reflections don’t harm an already-challenged city.

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