Warren County Supervisors update County Prosecutor job description

Published 4:17 pm Thursday, October 6, 2022

The Warren County Board of Supervisors voted Monday to update its county prosecutor job description, changing it from a full to a part time position.

The position, formally known as county attorney, will be up for election in 2023. Given the current state of the office, held by Ken Harper, the board determined the position would be best executed in a part-time capacity. Many of the full-time responsibilities are being handled outside of the county prosecutor’s office.

“The Youth Court has appointed its own prosecutor, and they’re handling that part of the business,” said board attorney Blake Teller. “This would handle most of the justice court duties and then some county court duties, and if needed, when necessary, back up to youth court as well.”

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The updated salary for the office is equal to that of a county supervisor. As mandated by state law, county supervisors in Mississippi earn $50,000 per year. In addition to the role moving to part-time status, the included monthly secretarial allowance will also decrease from $1,500 to $1,000.

The job description will be effective Jan. 1, 2024, for those who are interested in running for the position.

Moving the time commitment from full-time to part-time will allow the county prosecutor to maintain their own private law practice in addition to serving in public office.

The Board of Supervisors approved the job description change unanimously.

In addition to updating the job description, the board also voted to enact a resolution of intent for an amended animal control ordinance. Teller said he’d worked with the county’s animal control contractor, Vicksburg-Warren Humane Society, to draft the proposed updated ordinance, as the current ordinance had become obsolete over time.

The change was connected with the county prosecutor job description change, Teller said on Monday.

“We have something we think will work better than what’s been working in terms of enforcement of animal control,” Teller said. “The biggest change in connection with enforcement is really just expressing clearly that this will be enforced through justice court and county court by the county attorney, and the sheriff’s office also has law enforcement powers in connection with this.”

These issues were covered under state statutes, but not specifically stated in the county ordinance, Board President Kelle Barfield said.

A public hearing for the amended animal control ordinance will be held on Nov. 7 at 9 a.m.