Outgoing chief wants position back

Outgoing chief wants position back

Hattiesburg's outgoing chief of police, who announced his retirement in February, is asking the mayor and council to reconsider him for the department's top spot.

Frazier Bolton, whose retirement would be effective in August for personal reasons according to Mayor Johnny DuPree, issued a letter Wednesday evening asking the mayor and council to "seriously reconsider their differences and work towards an amicable, final resolution" regarding the position.

Bolton also responded to remarks written by the Hattiesburg Fraternal Order of Police, who said Bolton's leadership style was autocratic and intimidating.

Since the mayor announced Bolton's retirement in February, he has served as Director of Public Safety, while Assistant Chief Frank Misenhelter and Major Hardy Sims served jointly as chief.

The chief of police position is the final of 17 appointments the Hattiesburg City Council must approve from a mayoral nomination. DuPree was found in civil contempt of court last month for not nominating qualified individuals in a timely manner, and he returns to Forrest County Circuit Court Thursday at 11 a.m. to face that ruling.

DuPree, who is represented by outgoing city attorney Charles Lawrence, issued subpoenas to four individuals Wednesday to appear for the ruling. Those subpoenaed include Misenhelter, Ward 2 Councilwoman Deborah Delgado, HFOP President Lieutenant Allen Murray and former city clerk Eddie Myers.

To read Bolton's letter, click here.