The Hattiesburg City Council has created an outline recommending drastic changes to the municipal court system, including removing all suspended personnel.
The council says they researched best practices of 12 municipal court systems in the southeast in order to create their proposal. In a letter presented to Mayor Johnny DuPree, the council stated that all five members believe strongly that these principles should serve as the foundation upon which the restructuring of the court should be based.
The core of the proposal reads as follows....
- Court established as a City Department
- All suspended personnel removed
- Two director-level employees, salaries to be determined by the Council:
- Court administrator
- Directors of Court solely responsible for creating job descriptions, assessing current employees, and hiring:
- 4-5 deputy court administrators (skills and experience a must)
- Prosecutor (part-time)
- Public Defender (part-time)
- Assistant/paralegal for public defender
- One part-time judge pro-tem
HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Items for further discussion:
- Separate Environmental Court, potentially handled by judge pro-tem
- Consistent enforcement of environmental cases (in court department and in code enforcement division)
- Software to prevent altering or manipulating of records
- Auditing safeguards for handling cash/consider alternative to cash system