Mozingo stepping down as judge to become new Homes of Hope director

“At some point in life, some earlier and some later, we realize what is the Lord’s will for our life.”
Judge Tony Mozingo held a press conference announcing he is stepping down as Lamar County judge and to be new executive director of Homes of Hope for Children.
Published: Oct. 4, 2022 at 2:47 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 4, 2022 at 2:49 PM CDT
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LAMAR COUNTY, Miss. (WDAM) - Judge Tony Mozingo held a press conference to announce he is stepping down as the 15th Circuit Court Judge in Lamar County and will become the new executive director of Homes of Hope for Children.

The press conference was held on Tuesday at 3 p.m. inside the Lamar County Circuit Court in Purvis.

“I am at peace in my decision to accept the position of executive director at Homes for Hope,” said Mozingo. “Homes of Hope needs strong leadership and a plan for a stable, healthy future, and I intend to work on behalf of the board of directors and Homes benefactors to pursue that stable future and lead it to greater things.”

Other than stating the move to become Homes of Hope executive director, Mozingo made sure to address that there is no other reason for his decision to step down as circuit court judge.

Homes of Hope’s interim executive director, Richard Giannini, believes Mozingo’s character and experience as an attorney and judge will be vital in the children’s ministry.

“We’re just looking forward to our terms being on the board, and since we all started,” said Richard Giannini, “we’re going to be around for a long time. We’re going to help you in any way we can to make this one of the finest charities that Mississippi has ever seen.”

Mozingo expressed his gratitude towards the Lamar County community for allowing him to be the circuit court judge and acknowledged his staff for their work alongside him.

“I acknowledge today the depth of gratitude I owe for the precious opportunity to be a circuit judge,” Mozingo said. “I am especially thankful for the devotion of my staff and those in the service of the courts who are never noticed or mentioned, yet were devoted to me in every way.”

Mozingo said he would remain working as a judge till the end of the year. Then, by Jan. 1, he hopes to work with Homes of Hope.

“This is a wonderful day. For me personally, it is a bittersweet day, but it’s a beautiful day,” Mozingo said.

In September, former Homes for Hope Executive Director Michael Garrett was removed from his position after being arrested on prostitution and drug possession charges following an undercover sting done by the Columbia Police Department.

Garrett was released on a $12,000 bond but was put back in jail after the bond was revoked; however, on Sept. 20, Garrett was released on a court order made by Mozingo to be entered into an unspecified rehabilitation center.

Ex-children’s home founder released to rehab

When asked about his goals once he became executive director, Mozingo emphasized stability for the organization after Garrett’s removal.

“...I intend to hopefully stabilize the home managerially, financially and in every other way, but especially with the authorities that are interested and concerned about the children there and the children who come there...,” said Mozingo.

“I’m all about the future. I don’t ever look back.”

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