Controversial Jackson mayor accused of hurting police by promoting bodyguards

A Jackson detective says Mayor Frank Melton's promotion of two bodyguards to powerful positions is hurting the police department.

Melton, a controversial former WLBT television executive, has long been criticized for micromanaging the police force.

Now the first-term mayor is under fire for appointing one of his bodyguards, Michael Recio, to the position of assistant chief.

Melton apparently did not consult Police Chief Shirlene Anderson before making the change last week.

Melton promoted his other bodyguard, Marcus Wright, to the position of sergeant.

More than a dozen current officers held a press conference to denounce the promotions.

Detective Juan Cloy, who is president of the police officers' union, says the Melton promotions were equivalent to "attempted systematic destruction of JPD."

Recio and Wright are the same bodyguards who were indicted - but later acquitted - on several felony charges.

Melton and the bodyguards were accused of using sledgehammers to destroy a duplex the mayor considered a crack house. They were cleared of the charges by a jury in April.