Lawsuit claims Wayne Co. Supervisors misused taxpayer resources

Lawsuit claims Wayne Co. Supervisors misused taxpayer resources
A former Hattiesburg business owner will serve two years in prison and pay back more than $165,000 in backed taxes after a sentence handed down by a federal judge. (Photo source: Raycom News Network)

WAYNE COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - A Wayne County resident and business owner filed a lawsuit against the county board of supervisors Monday, claiming the county has been using taxpayer resources for private property. Chris Stallings and Stallings Construction filed the suit Monday in U.S. District Court.

Stallings Construction's business operations include the sale of dirt and gravel, as well as gravel hauling, pads for mobile homes, building foundations and driveways.

The plaintiffs said Wayne County supervisors have been providing dirt and gravel for free to private citizens for use on private property. The suit claims the dirt, which is the property of Wayne County taxpayers, is being supplied to citizens to gain support for the supervisors.

According to the plaintiffs, supervisors said "it's just how it's always been done" and refused to cease and desist, despite state and federal law prohibiting the personal use of county resources.

The suit said a specific example of misuse occurred on Jan. 19, 2018, when a Wayne County dump truck delivered a load of slag rock to a resident and proceeded to spread the rock along the private citizen's gated driveway. The alleged incident was witnessed and recorded by the plaintiffs, who said the county employee admitted "that they should not be dumping slag rock on a private citizen's gated driveway."

The lawsuit claims the county has disregarded the law in its misuse of Wayne County resources and has unlawfully and unconstitutionally deprived the plaintiffs of business.

Stallings and Stallings Construction are asking the court to award damages from the county's actions and for the county to repay the Wayne County taxpayers.

You can view the full lawsuit below: