Hattiesburg councilmen go to court to demand mayor's appointments

Hattiesburg councilmen go to court to demand mayor's appointments

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Hattiesburg City Council President Kim Bradley (Ward 1) and councilman Carter Carroll (Ward 3) have filed a complaint against Mayor Johnny DuPree for failure to submit the majority of appointments for department directors to the council for approval.

The complaint, which was filed Thursday in Forrest County Circuit Court, stated the mayor has failed to comply with state law, according to Miss. Code Ann.21-8-1 et seq. which requires the mayor to bring forward appointments at the beginning of each new term. The mayor, who has been in office for 16 months this term, has only brought forward and received approval for five of 17 positions.

A hand-delivered letter was presented to the mayor's office Thursday by Bradley and Carroll's attorney, which said DuPree "undermined one of the most important features of our local, State and Federal governments- the requirement of separation of powers."

DuPree, who has been asked on multiple occasions the past 16 months to bring forward his appointments, was previously sued in 2006 by Bradley, Carroll and former councilman C.E. Bailey on almost identical measures. That suit ended with a Mississippi Supreme Court decision that ordered the mayor to immediately bring forward his department heads for approval.

The letter submitted Thursday called the mayor's lack of action "unfortunate and inexcusable." However, Bradley and Carroll have allowed the mayor one week to present his appointments before further action is taken in order to give DuPree "one last chance to fulfill your duty as mayor."

DuPree was not available for immediate comment.

To view a copy of the complaint, click here. 

To view a copy of the letter that was sent to the mayor, click here.