DuPree gets a reprieve

Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree and his legal team got their day in court Thursday to try to convince a specially-appointed circuit court judge to withhold punishment on a civil contempt of court charge.

But after more than three hours of attorney arguments, evidence read into the record and testimony of four witnesses, the mayor received only a six-week reprieve to find a police chief candidate who can win the approval of the majority of City Council members.

Special Judge L. Breland Hilburn said DuPree had not done his due diligence to present candidates to the council for consideration, affirmed the contempt ruling he had reached in May and gave DuPree until July 10 to present an acceptable candidate.

If not, DuPree will be fined $150 a day until he does.