Hattiesburg City Council collectively scolds Mayor DePree

The Hattiesburg City Council has unanimously criticized Mayor Johnny DuPree for his handling of the municipal court investigation and the punishment doled out as a result of that probe.

As originally reported last week, the Hattiesburg Police Internal Affairs division concluded there was a major lack of competence in the city court system, citing numerous examples of clerks accepting gifts and rewards in exchange for dismissing tickets, fines, and warrants.

The 13-page report stated that judge’s dispositions were being altered by court clerks. One example described a clerk scratching through a documented fine, which was ordered and signed by a judge, and then altering that fine to a lower amount.