Hattiesburg Police Chief questions signature on documents

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Hattiesburg Police Chief Frazier Bolton is calling into question his signature on documents at city hall . At the heart of the issue is the new club in Hattiesburg, 3-D Lounge.

According to Chief Bolton any establishment which serves alcohol has to have his signature to open. He says the lounge didn't have his approval and it opened Thursday night.

"I went straight to club 3-D, and I spoke to someone out front and let them know," said Hattiesburg Police Department Captain Michael Fleming.

According Fleming, he was one of two officers Chief Bolton instructed to shut down the new night club.

"There was some problems with some paper work and they wouldn't be able to open tonight per the chief," said Fleming.

The chief says the paper work in question is the night club's application for privilege tax license. According to Bolton, in September of 2011 he signed the application for Inner Circle Bar and Lounge.

Bolton says months later he received information about the club, which raised some concerns, and that directed him to put a hold on the permit process in April of this year.

He says he instructed someone at city hall to write a note on the application stating to not issue a permit until he reevaluated the paper work and establishment before the club opened. It says,"Double check with Chief Bolton. Chief called 4/18/12. Said don't issue."

Bolton says the review never happened, and he received word Thursday morning the club was opening the same day. Bolton added that's when he requested copies of the paperwork, and found the original name of the club crossed out and the current name hand written as 3-D Lounge, and his signature from 9 months ago on the back.

Frazier says he is skeptical of his signature on the paperwork saying," I believe this is doctored," said Chief Bolton.

According to Fleming the chief wasn't the only one with the paperwork.

"I sat and waited for the manager. I saw Councilwoman Deborah Delgado. She walked out and asked if there was a problem, and I told her that there was some problems with the paper work. She said I have the paperwork inside," said Fleming.

Fleming says after talking to Delgado and the chief he later received a call from another captain saying the mayor said the club could open.  Fleming says he walked inside to give the ok.

"At that time their was a gentleman come from my left. I didn't see him earlier, and then I saw Councilman Dave Ware he came from the back," said Fleming.

For the Director of Administration and City Clerk, Eddie Myers there was no confusion about the club opening.

"We were under the understanding that those issues...that the police department was ok with it, and we could issue it," said Myers.

However, Myers says that indication came from another representative from the police department not the chief. Myers says the name change to the club doesn't mean the chief has to sign it again, and as far as the claims of the chief's signature being doctored Myers doesn't know how that could be possible.

Copyright 2012 WDAM. All rights reserved.