Court filings show complaint against Hattiesburg chief nominee dismissed

Court filings show complaint against Hattiesburg chief nominee dismissed

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Update:

A May 13, 2008 memorandum from the Jackson city attorney to Jackson Police Chief Malcom McMillin stated a judge dismissed the lawsuit against then-deputy chief Ron Sampson, due to the legal action being filed improperly. The memo stated that it was "not a decision on the merits, it is a rebuke of the factors used by Plaintiffs and their counsel."

The attorney goes on to say that the plaintiffs do have a right to file a civil suit. Seven On Your Side has reached out to the plaintiffs' attorney to see if this was ever done.

To view the memorandum and the judge's order and judgement, click here.

Seven On Your Side is in the process of filing a request under the Freedom of Information Act for the ultimate findings from the 2008 EEOC complaint.

Friday afternoon:

A man who was demoted from deputy chief of the Jackson Police Department to commander after alleged sexist and racist remarks and allegedly drinking on the job is now Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree's nomination for police chief.

A 2008 report from Seven On Your Side's sister station WLBT reported Ronald W. Sampson, Sr. was demoted to commander of JPD several years ago after an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint was filed by JPD Officer Wanda Camel and Sergeant Amy Barlow.

The complaint described an incident where Sampson told Camel to meet him behind Calloway High School in January 2008. When she arrived, Sampson directed her to "get rid of those white __ __," which referred to white officers working off-duty security at an apartment complex. The complaint said those remarks were particularly directed to Barlow, who, unbeknownst to Sampson, was listening to the conversation via Camel's cell phone.

The report said that Sampson ordered Camel to "give him some" as she left the high school, which Camel said the chief told her meant sex, although he did not use that terminology.

In a letter from the women's attorney, Ed Flechas to JPD Sheriff-Chief Malcom McMillin, it alleged Sampson "is believed to have been under the influence of an intoxicating liquor at this time due to the strong odor of alcohol emanating from Deputy chief Sampson's person and vehicle."

Sheriff-Chief McMillin later admitted that then-deputy chief Sampson did make racist and sexist statements to Camel, and he called Sampson's acts "reprehensible" in that same February 2008 interview.

Sampson's resume for the Hattiesburg chief position stated his objective to utilize "30 years of law enforcement experience that includes tested and proven administrative and supervisory skills." It showed that Sampson currently serves as deputy chief of the Hinds County Sheriff's Office and has been in that position since November 2013.

Sampson's nomination is scheduled to be up for a vote this Tuesday, May 19, which is two days before Mayor DuPree is scheduled to be back in Forrest County Circuit Court for being held in civil contempt of court over his failure to nominate city directors. Special appointed Judge Breland Hilburn said if DuPree does not give reason Thursday to not be held in contempt, he will be put in custody of the sheriff.

WDAM spoke with DuPree's public relations director Friday, but the administration was unable to offer an immediate response.