HATTIESBURG — Two Hattiesburg City Council members say a judge’s order will compel Mayor Johnny DuPree to bring forward administrative appointments in a more timely fashion.
Details of Judge L. Breland Hilburn’s ruling have not been released. In a brief announcement Tuesday, Breland wrote he had ordered Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree to “comply with his duties as mayor of the City of Hattiesburg.”
Breland said his order has been mailed to Forrest County Circuit Court.
Councilmen Carter Carroll and Kim Bradley had sued DuPree to force him to bring appointments for the council for confirmation.
Bradley did not show much confidence in the mayor obeying the judge’s order, and said, “If history repeats itself, I’m sure we’re going to be petitioning the Supreme Court sometime next year to rule on this, which is wrong.”
Bradley was referring to a 2006 Supreme Court ruling that ordered the mayor to bring forward his appointments immediately in a nearly identical situation to the one today.
According to Bradley and Carroll’s attorney, Robert Gholson of Laurel, it took the mayor two years and four months to bring forward his nominees during that term.
“I believe that we’re all held accountable some way or another,” said Bradley. “This is the only way that we could hold this man (DuPree) accountable. We certainly can’t do it in conversation with him.”
The Hattiesburg City Council approved seven of DuPree’s 11 appointments presented last week.
All positions were holdovers from the mayor’s previous term.
The four appointments were not confirmed. Those include one judge protem, chief of police, public defender and city attorney. Each individual in those positions was a new appointment.
DuPree, who was out of town Tuesday, said he was unaware of any decision being reached.
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