Attorney General says Mayor DuPree has authority to oversee internal auditor

On Tuesday, council president Kim Bradley said an internal auditor position would be a waste of money, and that it's not going to be on next year's budget. When the internal auditor's position opened on the City of Hattiesburg's website a few weeks ago, it gained support from both Mayor Johnny DuPree and council president Bradley. The only issue that stood in the way was who would oversee the position.

Both DuPree and Bradley wrote letters to Attorney General Jim Hood's office to find out who'd be the boss of the potential new employee. When the position became available on the website, DuPree contended the future employee would not report directly to the council.

According to the attorney general's response, the mayor was right.

Hood says there is no authority which could authorize the city council to hire an internal auditor who reports directly to the city council. When it comes to hiring new employees, the city council is only allowed strict limits that align with state law.

When that internal auditor position is filled, he or she will answer to the mayor.