At the end of Monday night’s special council meeting, the public comments portion was a surprise, for me at least. A half dozen residents, many of whom were her friends and family, came out to support Joy Spriggs in a time of need. Having served 12 years as the Public Defender, Mrs. Spriggs is the only person on the city’s legal team who Mayor-elect Mapp plans to replace. The motivation for Spriggs’ removal are “political obligations,” according to her sister and Board of Education President Wilma Campbell.
This couldn’t come at a worse time for Mrs. Spriggs, whose husband, according to her brother-in-law John Campbell, Sr., is in the midst of a life threatening battle with cancer. Losing their health coverage at this juncture would make things even harder. Spriggs has, by all accounts last night, served the city and her clients honorably over the course of her dozen years. Wilma Campbell reminded attendees that everyone is only one doctor’s visit from dealing with catastrophic illness.
Latonya Sample, a Plainfield resident, asked soon-to-be Mayor Mapp to ask himself what kind of person he’d like to be considered. “Do you want to be the type of person with the fortitude to not let politics dictate someone’s destiny?”
A fellow attorney, Brian C. Lorio of Montclair, spoke to the importance of having local district attorneys that have built a rapport with their community. Describing Joy Spriggs as a mentor who helped teach him how to practice law, Lorio warned Adrian Mapp of the “serious ramifications” that come with appointing a new attorney who people don’t trust. “She lives here, works here, takes part in the community,” said Lorio, contrasting servants like Spriggs from “people come to cities for work purposes and then leave, never leaving a lasting impact.”
Below you can watch the video of John Campbell, Sr’s plea to an onlooking Adrian Mapp, who voted for Mrs. Spriggs appointment himself as a Council member years ago. Campbell notably reminded the Mayor-elect that despite Mr. Mapp’s strong performance of his duties, political maneuvering lead to his own termination in another municipality. I apologize for the darkness of some portions of the video.
I uncharacteristically made three posts in the span of a few hours. People may overlook my coverage of yesterday’s Angels for Action press conference addressing their photo identification program and Gloria Taylor’s appointment to city council last night. Both stories can be found on the home page.