Hattiesburg judge refuses to resign

The Hattiesburg City Council is meeting Tuesday evening to vote on the selection of a new municipal court judge, but there's one small catch. One of the three judges currently in office says she is not resigning her position and is not voluntarily leaving.

The attorney for Judge Vanessa Jones has written a letter to Mayor Johnny DuPree and the council members claiming Jones is a victim of discriminatory and retaliatory conduct. In the letter sent Tuesday, attorney Kim Chaze says there is no justification for her termination. He says Jones has complained about mistreatment of her, and now she's being retaliated against.

According to the letter, "Jones is being replaced by a Caucasian male who has no judicial experience whatsoever. The alleged vacancy has not even been advertised or placed in a competitive environment. Mr. Evans, a friend of the mayor, was simply given the position. This itself is indicative of discrimination."


The letter goes on to say her termination is wrong on many levels, including constitutional, contractual, and civil wrongs - and triggers due process violations.

The city council is expected to act on the mayor's nomination of Jerry Evans at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. It remains to be seen if this letter will have any bearing on Tuesday's scheduled vote.

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