Monday, November 2, 2009
At a board meeting this morning, Hinds County Supervisors appointed Sherri Flowers to replace Malcolm Harrison as county attorney. Harrison became Gov. Haley Barbour's first African American judicial appointment in October, when the governor picked him for the Hinds County Circuit Court seat formerly held by Bobby DeLaughter.
Flowers was the senior assistant county attorney for Harrison and his partner in private practice. She is also the town attorney for Bolton. She received her law degree from the University of Mississippi and served as legal counsel to Trustmark Bank before joining Harrison's firm.
District 4 Supervisor Phil Fisher cast the lone vote against Flowers' appointment. While the county is interviewing applicants today for the vacant Director of Emergency Operations position, it did not open the county attorney job to competition.
"Are we just not going to have any interview process for this position?" Fisher asked. "I've had four individuals call expressing interest."
Fisher pointed out that the county seemed content to choose a new attorney from within its ranks but unwilling to do so for Emergency Operations. Larry Fisher, no relation, who retired as emergency operations director Friday, has recommended his deputy, Ricky Moore, as his replacement.
"We have the number-two guy at EOC, and they want to interview other people, but they want to pick the number-two person for county attorney," Fisher said.
The board again delayed voting on a proposed agreement concerning the Henley-Young Youth Detention Center. Supervisors went into executive session to discuss the memorandum of understanding with the Mississippi Youth Justice Project, which has advocated for improved conditions at the facility.
When supervisors returned to open session around noon, Supervisor Peggy Calhoun suggested that the county establish a panel on the detention facility comprised of county officials, youth court staff, state monitors and representatives of the Youth Justice Project.
"This panel will be established to review problems and shortcomings," Calhoun said. "In other words, we're going to continue with open dialogue between all of the entities."
The board refrained from voting on the memorandum of understanding, however. Board Attorney Crystal Martin told supervisors that she would speak to them individually about any remaining concerns and offer the memorandum for their approval at the next board meeting Nov. 16.