Hattiesburg City Hall and vault left unlocked - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Hattiesburg City Hall and vault left unlocked with uncounted affidavits inside


On Thursday, before the vote count resumed, drama had already engulfed Hattiesburg City Hall.

The front door to the building was left unlocked along with the vault that held uncounted affidavit ballots.

While attorneys and residents looked on to make sure every affidavit ballot was legitimate, many people throughout the city were talking about how someone allegedly walked into City Hall Wednesday night through an unlocked door.

City Clerk Eddie Myers is taking the blame for the front door of City Hall being left open, according to John Brown, assistant to the mayor.

Brown said, "He really was the last person to leave City Hall. We take an exit that is on the first floor. He did not check the front door and he also did not push up the vault."

That left City Hall wide open. Rumors have been circulating much of the day that a suspicious individual was spotted Wednesday night roaming through City Hall while the cleaning crew was there. An information report was filed by a Hattiesburg police officer who responded to a call to City Hall Wednesday night. It did not say if anyone was arrested or questioned for being in the building. There are several cameras inside and outside, infrared camera as well.

Brown said, "We do have cameras. The IT Department, I imagine, will review that to see what really happened, but we do have surveillance cameras. I don't think they have pulled any footage or anything like that. I imagine when the mayor returns that he may actually look at it. We keep that on file and we'll try to look at it then."

Despite a suspicious individual allegedly walking through City Hall Wednesday night, that did not stop the Hattiesburg Election Commission from counting affidavits.

Commissioner George Decoux said, "We had the ballot box sealed. The seal was on the ballot box this morning. Same number. The election commission is good with it."

All affidavits have been counted. Johnny Dupree remains the Mayor of Hattiesburg, but that could remain open just like the front door of City Hall because the June 4 election could go to court.

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