- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 6, 2015

GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) - Former board attorney Joe Meadows is now a Harrison County supervisor - at least through the end of this year.

Supervisors voted unanimously Monday to appoint Meadows to fill the remainder of former supervisor Kim Savant’s term, which ends in January.

Meadows was appointed to fill the seat of former Harrison County Supervisor Kim Savant, who resigned last month before pleading guilty on a federal bribery charge.

Meadows, a retired lawyer who was the Harrison County Board of Supervisors’ attorney for almost 20 years.

Meadows said he will not run for election in November.

He praised the board for removing politics from the appointment.

“I mean this sincerely the board should be commended for appointing, not for appointing me to serve, but by appointing someone who will not seek election to this office. My appointment will provide a level playing field for all those who do want to seek this office in the fall,” said Meadows.

State law required the remaining supervisors fill the vacancy until an election could be called. Because this year is an election year, the county didn’t need to call a special election, said board attorney Tim Holleman.

Savant resigned from the board Dec. 16 shortly before being indicted on federal bribery charges. Later that day, he pleaded guilty to a single felony charge on conspiring to commit bribery. According to prosecutors, he had accepted thousands of dollars in bribes while serving as a member of the Harrison County Utility Authority in exchange for voting to award contracts to a company.

He had represented the county’s District 2 since 2008.

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