Hattiesburg City Council will be asked next week to consider 11 nominees submitted as department heads or Municipal Court positions by Mayor Johnny DuPree.Mrs. Martin is the daughter of Hinds County Chancellor Patricia Wise. She resides in Ridgeland.
Seven of the candidates are renominated holdovers. The other four, including nominees for police chief, city attorney, public defender and one of two judge pro-tem slots, will replace current members of the city's administration and court.
DuPree said he would have preferred to bring back all his department heads, but was concerned about their ability to be confirmed by a majority of the council.
"The staff I have now, I'm fully satisfied with," DuPree said Wednesday night. "I believe they've done a great job for a long time, and they served the citizens of Hattiesburg well.
"But through direct conversations with at least one council person and innuendos from others, it seems the four were going to have difficulty getting passed."
DuPree's nominees include former Vicksburg Police Chief Mitchell Dent to replace Frazier Bolton as police chief, Charles "C.J." Lawrence III to replace his father, Charles Lawrence Jr., as city attorney and Catouche J.L. Body to replace Alethea Shaw as public defender.
DuPree also nominated Crystal Wise Martin, the widow of the late, prominent Jackson attorney Precious Martin, to replace Carol Jones as Municipal Court judge pro-tem.... Rest of article.
§ 21-23-9 of the Mississippi Code defines a municipal court judge pro-tem:
In any municipality where a municipal judge is appointed or elected, the governing authorities shall have the power and authority to appoint a municipal judge pro tempore who shall have the same powers and qualifications for office as the municipal judge and shall perform all duties of the municipal judge in the absence of such municipal judge or if such municipal judge is unable to serve for any reason. In the event a municipal judge pro tempore is not appointed or is absent or unable for any reason to serve, any justice court judge of the county or municipal judge of another municipality may serve in his place with the same power and authority upon designation by the municipal judge. Any municipality that appoints a municipal judge pro tempore in the absence of a municipal judge or has a justice court judge serve in the absence of a municipal court judge, as provided in this section, is authorized to compensate that municipal judge pro tempore or justice court judge in the same manner and amount as the municipality provides for the appointed or elected municipal judge who is absent.