Camden Mayor Julian Lott has issued a press release refuting recent allegations that he was recorded discussing an extra-marital affair.
On a recording released by Amy Perrin, former assistant to the mayor who filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Lott and the City of Camden on Sept. 29, a man Perrin identified as Lott can be heard discussing an affair, saying his wife would be out of town and he'd called his "old girl" to meet up.
In his statement, Lott alleges that the tape was edited.
"Plainly put, the small, edited clip of audio is taken completely out of context and designed to appear that I was talking about my own personal exploits when in reality it was a conversation using myself as an example to explain troubled behavior," Lott's statement says. "She and any other employee who spent any significant amount of time around me knows as a pastor first, I take every opportunity to espouse my thoughts on why being mortally and ethically above board allows us to better serve the residents of Camden."
On the recording, the person Perrin identified as Lott states, "So my wife is getting ready to go out of town. She says, 'I'm going to Natchez next week'. I say 'oh, okay, cool.' So I call my old girl and say, 'hey; Nancy's going to be gone next Thursday and Friday, we need to hook up.'"
Perrin said last week the person on the recording she identified as Lott was speaking to "various city employees in the room that will not be exposed for their protection."
In his statement, Lott calls on Perrin to "release the full, unedited conversation so the public can hear for themselves what was being discussed in context," and says he is also exploring legal options "to demand the release of the complete, unedited audio."
"This was a blatant attempt to shift the focus away from the success outcomes of my first term in office," the statement says.
Perrin said the recording was made in 2020 around the formation of the city's COVID-19 task force.
"Having been retaliated against and slandered continuously, still to this very day and knowingly without a doubt for the days to come. I can and will not let a false self proclaimed prophet, or in the very words of this individual, which can be found in previous media prints and their own livestreams, 'God Himself" continue to blindly lead the people of this wonderful community and beyond," Perrin said, explaining her motivation for releasing the recording. "I am human and as all humans, none is without sin; therefore you will never find me standing behind a pulpit or media platform confessing otherwise."
Perrin also stated last week that on his first day of office, Lott provided her with a recorder to "record him and hold him accountable."
Lott's release states, "Ms. Perrin's statement to the Camden News that I gave her a recorder to 'record (me) and hold (me) accountable' is an absolute lie."
"Ms. Perrin was never given the recorder to covertly record city officials or employees against their knowledge. While employed with the city, Ms. Perrin was discovered to have been secretly recording private conversations of other co-workers without their consent," the statement continues.
The release ends by stating the release of the audio was "dirty politics."
"I expect and welcome scrutiny of my policies and leadership; however, attacks which involve my family are disgusting and another act of political theater. I am not withdrawing nor stopping this campaign. I have the full support of my wife, and she joins me in this statement," the statement, which is signed by both Mayor Lott and his wife, Nancy, says.
Lott, in the statement, attributes the recording as an attack from an unnamed group of citizens "coordinating to take back control of the city."