- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 7, 2015

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) - The Hattiesburg City Council approved seven of Mayor Johnny DuPree’s 11 appointments presented at Tuesday night’s meeting.

All the approved positions were hold-overs from the mayor’s previous term.

Four appointments were not approved. Those include one city judge pro-tem, chief of police, public defender and city attorney. Each individual in those positions was a new appointment.

Dupree said the current officeholders would continue to serve until he could find potential replacements.

DuPree is scheduled to be in court Monday for a hearing on how he is handling city appointments. Council members Carter Carroll and Kim Bradley filed a lawsuit in response to what they called the mayor’s failure to bring forward appointments in a timely manner.

Bradley said once the mayor had submitted new nominees for appointment, the current four currently no longer held those positions, and since the council declined to consider DuPree’s new nominees, that those positions now were open.

“The way that I understand it, and the lawyers that I have asked, the answer is no, those positions are now vacant,” he said. “It is my hope that he comes back and brings people who are truly qualified and will work for all of Hattiesburg and not just the chosen few that he’s trying to serve.”

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