DuPree mulls decision on judge's ruling

Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree has not made a decision as to whether to obey or fight a Forrest County Circuit Court ruling that he must submit his department heads to the council for approval.

Judge Bob Helfrich on Friday ordered DuPree to present his department heads, but it doesn't mean the mayor now thinks the judge is right.

"I believe that the statute says yes they work for the mayor who appoints him for his term, and until he brings a qualified replacement," DuPree said Monday.

But now the mayor says he has to decide: do I stick up for what i believe in, and appeal this ruling, or do i put up my department heads and put this behind me?

"Do you start to worry that this may cast a fog over any legacy you leave behind here?" News 7 asked.

"No! No. I honestly believe that this is one issue and one issue alone that the council and I just disagree on. If all they remember are the directors that the council and I have had a problem with, then I guess that is a cross I have to bear."

The mayor says he just got a complete copy of the ruling, and he will now go over it with legal counsel.

"What's your gut tell you?" News 7 asked.

"To talk to my attorney."

And while a decision on whether to appeal or not appeal should come shortly, don't expect to see any department heads on the agenda for Tuesday night's council meeting.