Part-time Ferguson mayor in full-time spotlight

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Ferguson Mayor James Knowles.

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FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) _ In the days since the release of a Justice Department report that found widespread racial bias in the Ferguson Police Department, the mayor of the St. Louis suburb has become a part-time public servant in a full-time spotlight.

The attention has only intensified as six city employees have been fired or stepped down.

But Mayor James Knowles III remains, making just $4,200 a year. He says the job was basically ceremonial before a white officer shot an unarmed black 18-year-old in August, prompting weeks of sometimes-violent protests and the federal inquiry. He insists he’ll stay to see Ferguson through the changes it must make.

Critics want him out and say he must have known about lax police oversight, racial profiling and profit-driven court practices cited in the Justice Department report.

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