HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The Hattiesburg City Council approved seven of Mayor Johnny DuPree's 11 appointments presented at Tuesday night's meeting.
All of the approved positions were hold-overs from the mayor's previous term. The four appointments that were not approved did not receive a motion for a vote. Those include one judge pro-tem, chief of police, public defender and city attorney. Each individual in those positions was a new appointment.
Each council member expressed concern at a Monday agenda setting with not being able to meet with the mayor's proposed appointments. Although the mayor is not required to allow these interviews, council members said he had done so in the past before a vote was held.
"I think it'd be good, even for the ones that are appointed, to tell us what'd they like to see and who they are," said Ward 5 Councilman Henry Naylor.
Ward 3 Councilman Carter Carroll echoed Naylor's concern, saying he had a "duty to my constituents and the City of Hattiesburg to at least know and to vet these people."
"I presented my appointees as a matter of courtesy, not a matter of law, not a matter of process that's spelled out in the statute," said DuPree.
DuPree will meet Carroll and council president Kim Bradley (Ward 1) in Forrest County Circuit Court Monday morning to settle a lawsuit filed by the councilmen in response to the mayor's failure to bring forward appointments in a timely manner, which is state statute and ruled on by the Mississippi Supreme Court.