HARTSELLE, Ala. (WHNT) -- It's not a vacancy, it's a leave of absence. That was what the Hartselle city attorney wanted to get across at Monday's city council work session. Hartselle Mayor Don Hall was arrested and charged with DUI this weekend. City Council President Bill Smelser will act as Mayor Pro Tempore while Hall takes some time away from the office.
The work session was cancelled due to a lack of council members in attendance, but the council used the gathering as an opportunity to address the public about Hall's arrest.
"I have been with Don on numerous trips where alcohol has been and he has never, never taken a drink in front of me," Smelser told WHNT News 19.
Smelser said he got a phone call Friday night alerting him to the arrest in Limestone County.
"We're just trying to work through it" said City Councilman Kenny Thompson. "And he needs our prayers and support at this time and that's what we're all planning on doing."
Hall is technically still in office, he's just not able to serve right now. WHNT News 19 spoke with a few concerned residents who said a little time for reflection might do some good for the entire city. "I think a time of evaluation and that's what he's doing at this point, is a good decision," said Shane Britt with U Prayed. "I think he'll regroup, refocus, and come back and lead us very compassionately and move us forward, continue move us forward."
"I would say he definitely made a mistake," said Thompson. "I don't know. Who of us hasn't even made a mistake? I'm not going to condemn him, that's something he's got to work through."
There is always the possibility that Mayor Hall could resign. If that were to happen, the city council would have to elect a new mayor. However, Smelser said he believes Hall will be back in no time. "Don is still the mayor of Hartselle," he said. "Don was elected by the citizens of Hartselle to be the mayor, I am a representative of the mayor, I will assume his responsibilities but when he is back where he thinks he is okay, when he thinks he can reassume the responsibilities of the mayor, he will be the mayor of Hartselle."