- Associated Press - Thursday, September 18, 2014

PASCAGOULA, Miss. (AP) - An attorney for a former Jackson County sheriff’s chief investigator says his firing was politically motivated.

Attorney Adam Miller told The Sun Herald that (https://bit.ly/1uXpzzB) Sheriff Charles Britt fired Louie Miller in a political dispute. He would not elaborate on the allegation.

Brit said in a statement that the firing was tied to an investigation by the state auditor’s officer.

The sheriff said his office initiated a six-week investigation in cooperation with the auditor and FBI. He says the probe showed Miller violated department policies and procedures regarding disposal of diesel fuel stored at Singing River Island.

Britt hired Miller in March and appointed him chief of the criminal investigations division during the summer.

The county Board of Supervisors appointed Britt sheriff in January to replace Mike Byrd, the longtime sheriff who recently finished a sentence under house arrest after a conviction for obstruction of justice. A special election for sheriff is set for November.

Louie Miller has been on medical leave since Monday, Adam Miller said. The two men are not related.

The attorney said a Sheriff’s Office employee delivered a letter to Louie Miller on Wednesday notifying him he was fired.

“There is nothing in the letter that indicates he is under investigation by the auditor’s office,” Adam Miller said. “I think the termination was improper. I think it was politically motivated.”

He said Britt talked to Louie Miller before he went on medical leave. The sheriff earlier said Louie Miller, a law enforcement officer for more than 30 years, might be reprimanded for failing to fill out a report.

The state auditor’s office said it does not comment on ongoing investigations.

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Information from: The Sun Herald, https://www.sunherald.com

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