Indicted voter up for Hattiesburg Fire Department promotion
HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Joseph Anderson, who was indicted last week for and pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of voting out of district of legal domicile, has applied for the captain and battalion chief positions with the Hattiesburg Fire Department, according to Chief Paul Presley.
"He hasn't done anything [wrong] within the department," said Presley of Anderson, who he said had been with the department for approximately 24 years.
Anderson was found by the local grand jury to have illegally voted in the 2013 Hattiesburg mayoral election. Last year, a WDAM investigation found that he owned a house in Hattiesburg but homestead exemption records showed his permanent residence in Jones County. Anderson was asked to confirm his residence during that investigation but offered no comment.
Presley referred to Anderson as a "model employee" and said the misdemeanor count would not affect his application for promotion within the department.
"If he went to jail, then he couldn't get promoted," explained Presley.
Anderson, along with his wife Carmon, who is the Human Resources Director for Hattiesburg Public Schools and Hattiesburg Public Defender Alethea Shaw who were also indicted, will have to pay $420.84 to the Forrest County Circuit Court and complete a six-month suspended sentence.