An affidavit alleging a murder-for-hire plot hatched six months ago against the Madison mayor and a journalist had yet to be filed in federal court Wednesday,  nearly week after it was signed and reported extensively in the Jackson media.

The affidavit, signed by former Canton Municipal Utilities Engineer Rudy Warnock alleging the murder-for-hire plot against Madison Mayor Mary Hawkins Butler and the journalist, Madison County Journal Associate Editor and Publisher Michael Simmons, implicates CMU Chairman Cleveland Anderson as the instigator, although Anderson has since said he was merely “testing” Warnock’s integrity.

Warnock was fired from CMU in December 2016 at the urging of Anderson.

In a series of text messages Anderson released last December, the Journal reported then that Warnock allegedly said he’d pay good money to have Simmons slapped silly over a headline.

“He needs this ass whipped,” the texts Anderson provided read. “Need a down home bitch slapping!! I’d pay good money to have his slapped silly.”

It was not known at the time when Simmons was threatened that Hawkins-Butler had been allegedly threatened. According to the unfiled affidavit, Anderson was trying to help Warnock out by providing assassins from Chicago and New Orleans.

The unsigned version of Warnock’s affidavit was first reported two weeks ago on WMGO radio in Canton. An unsigned version was sent to the Journal, but was unreported in last week’s edition because the affidavit had not been signed or filed and was not part of the public record, said James E. Prince III, the Journal’s publisher.

Warnock’s unsigned affidavit, emailed to the Journal by Warnock’s attorney Dorsey R. Carson, Jr., on April 11, was actually signed on Wednesday, April 19 as the Journal was going to press. (See the statement the Journal issued and posted on the newspaper’s website and social media nearby.)

Carson had told the Journal on April 11 it was their intention to have the document filed with the courts the week of April 16-22.

On Tuesday, Carson via email confirmed the affidavit hadn’t been filed, “but will be in conjunction with a motion.”

According to the affidavit, on Aug. 31, 2016, Warnock said he complained to Anderson about a headline in the Journal involving CMU written by Simmons.

“A few weeks later, on September 18, 2016, Mr. Anderson asked me to meet him that morning at the Kroger parking lot at Highway 463/Colony Crossing,” the affidavit states. “I did. I was shocked when Mr. Anderson told me that he had family in New Orleans and Chicago who could ‘handle’ journalist Michael Simmons.”

The statement continues, “He offered to have Mr. Simmons murdered for $10,000. He said: ‘Once I tell them to do it, there aren’t any take backs.’”

Warnock says a week later Anderson offered to have Hawkins-Butler killed for $10,000, too. He alleges in the unfiled affidavit his wife, Brooke Warnock, witnessed that offer.

Warnock says he told Anderson in the first instance that he hasn’t ever hurt anybody and won’t start now. He says he laughed off the second offer and attributed it to Anderson possibly being drunk.

Attempts by the Journal to reach Anderson have been unsuccessful.

The eight-page affidavit also alleges that Anderson asked for a $200,000 bribe from Warnock through padding of an engineering contract.

“I refused,” the affidavit reads. “Again, I told Mr. Anderson that I was going home to my kids, and not to jail.”

Hawkins-Butler released a statement to media, saying, “If in fact this is true, this is a very dangerous situation and I hope the authorities will dig deep into this because I think the issues are deep.”

Warnock also alleges in his unfiled affidavit that sometime this year he discovered Anderson was the uncle of Canton Alderwoman Daphne Sims, who inappropriately appointed Anderson to the CMU board in violation of the state’s nepotism laws.

State nepotism statutes prohibit municipal boards from appointing officers if an individual is a relative within the third degree.

The Journal has been unable to confirm if Anderson is, in fact, Sims’ uncle and attempts to contact Sims been unsuccessful as well.

Warnock was fired in December 2016 in a 3-2 vote by the CMU board. At that meeting, Anderson produced a stack of text messages he alleges show Warnock stepping outside the scope of his duties as engineer to threaten, harass and control CMU.

Warnock was fired by Madison County in January 2016 and sued and settled for $550,000.

In the Canton text messages released by Anderson alleged to be from Warnock include alleged comments from other Canton officials, including Aldermen Eric Gilkey and Andrew Grant.

The messages include references to policy changes, the capability of issuing $45 million in bonds, and an FBI agent stationed in the Jackson office named Tye Breedlove.

There is an FBI agent in the Jackson office named Ty Breedlove.

In December 2016, when asked for comment if Breedlove had conversations with Anderson or Warnock, Brett Carr, public affairs officer with the FBI Jackson, said per policy they could neither confirm or deny whether a matter was under investigation.

Warnock is now currently suing CMU for over $6.3 million, claiming nearly $2.4 million is for work completed and nearly $4 million as a result of a termination clause in his contract.