3 judgeship applications vetoed due to residency

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 18, 2009

Three applications for justice court judge for Warren County’s Southern District will be disallowed for residency reasons, Board of Supervisors President Richard George said Friday.

Resumes submitted for former Vicksburg Police Chief Mitchell Dent, attorney Wren Way and state Department of Human Services investigator Robert Jackson were among early cuts out of 10 who applied for the interim appointment. Supervisors determined the three lived in the Northern District.

The post is vacant following the death July 2 of 12-year incumbent Joe Crevitt. It will appear with races for tax collector and two of five seats on the election commission on a Nov. 3 special election ballot. Qualifying for that election ends Sept. 4. Those elected will serve through the next round of countywide elections in November 2011 for terms that begin in January 2012.

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Seven are vying to be appointed by supervisors for the next round of cases July 27. They include Jeff Crevitt, one of Crevitt’s sons and a former investigator with the Warren County Sheriff’s Department; attorney and former circuit court administrator Lisa Anglin Counts; John Dolan, a former sheriff’s investigator; Ruby Hunter, a former sheriff’s deputy attorney; former chancellor Ceola James, who held the position briefly before losing a special election to Crevitt; Bree Lee Jr., a retired Vicksburg firefighter; and Sally Sheffield McDaniel, an employee of Sheffield Rentals.

Reviews of resumes will continue in advance of Monday’s regularly scheduled meeting, where the board will appoint of the seven.

Appointees are now serving as tax collector and in two of the five election commission seats. Interim Tax Collector Antonia Flaggs Jones was tapped for the post held by Pat Simrall after the 16-year incumbent’s retirement in May. Elva Smith and Lonnie Wooley were chosen by supervisors to hold the election commission seats.

Applicants for the job must be 18 or older and live in the Southern District for two years before the appointment. A high school diploma or a general equivalency diploma also is required. A law degree is not.

In 2007, a task force called by the Legislature recommended several new requirements for the office, such as an associate’s degree and five years’ experience as a certified law officer, paralegal, court clerk, deputy clerk or court administrator. One recommendation enacted into law stipulated additional legal and judicial training. Salaries are set by the Legislature according to county populations. In Warren County, the position pays $40,075.


Contact Danny Barrett Jr. at dbarrett@vicksburgpost.com