Hattiesburg mayor's contempt hearing delayed

Hattiesburg mayor's contempt hearing delayed

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Several days after Hattiesburg's mayor was set to appear in court for a contempt of court finding, attorneys in the case said they are waiting to see what is next.

Special appointed Judge Breland Hilburn scheduled Mayor Johnny DuPree to return to Forrest County Circuit Court on July 10, but according to the plaintiff's attorney Bob Gholson, there was confusion and conflict with that date, so it was postponed.

Mayor DuPree was found in civil contempt of court earlier this summer for his delay in nominating qualified candidates for positions to lead city departments. His last of 17 appointments was approved by the Hattiesburg City Council on June 29. If that nominee was not approved, the mayor's contempt finding would have stood, and he would have paid $150 per day until a different nominee was approved.

Jackson attorney Ottowa Carter, Jr., who is representing DuPree, said they filed a motion a few weeks ago, seeking the plaintiffs- Council President Kim Bradley (Ward 1) and Ward 3 Councilman Carter Carroll- to pay for DuPree's attorney fees and court costs. That motion has not yet been heard. Gholson, since the beginning of this case in late 2014, sought DuPree to pay his clients' attorney fees and court costs, and he is still waiting on that matter to be resolved.

Gholson and Carter said they are working with Judge Hilburn to schedule another a court date.