McMillin Says Resignation Was Political | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

McMillin Says Resignation Was Political

photo

Former JPD Chief Malcolm McMillin thanked officers for their hard work this morning during his last COMSTAT meeting.

See full JFP Melton Archive/Blog

Despite contradicting claims from Mayor Frank Melton, former Jackson Police Chief Malcolm McMillin said he resigned his position today for purely political reasons rather than tension between Melton and himself. "I couldn't stay as chief in this administration while I was not supporting the mayor's bid for re-election," McMillin said. "I thought it would say a lot about me and my integrity and honesty in taking that salary without supporting the mayor."

McMillin said he and Melton disagreed on a number of issues, though those issues ultimately were not the seat of his resignation.

The former chief had earlier threatened to leave his post after City Attorney Sarah O'Reilly-Evans fired an attorney assigned to the police department by the city. Melton later criticized the use of SUVs by high-level support staff. McMillin dismissed those arguments as "a rift born of a lack of understanding," but still not the reason for his departure.

McMillin said he wasn't sure if he wanted to serve as chief under a new administration. Ward 6 Councilman Marshand Crisler, who is seeking to unseat Melton in the primary, has told the Jackson Free Press that he would consider keeping McMillin on as chief.

Crisler is a Hinds County deputy, currently on leave from the department to pursue his mayoral campaign.

"I don't know if I would (return as chief) or not," McMillin said. "There've been a couple of candidates that indicated they would (hire me), but my decision isn't based on whether or not I'm going to be chief. Hell, I was already chief."

McMillin would not say who he was endorsing in the campaign, but did say why he was endorsing a candidate other than his former boss.

"We've got two trials, another one coming up, lawsuits. I think that alone speaks for itself," McMillin said, referring to one federal and one state trial connected to the mayor's alleged illegal demolition of a home on Ridgeway Street in 2006. Jurors could not reach a decision on Melton's guilt or innocence this year, and Melton will undergo another trial in May.

McMillin said he had no reservations with Melton's pick for new chief, former commander Tyrone Lewis.

"The (budget) is already in place," McMillin said. "He's going to inherit a department that's in a lot better shape than the one I did. When we went there, we didn't have a fiscal officer; we didn't have a grants person. Grants were in a mess. They're in good shape now. Sixty-two percent of the overtime had been spent in the first quarter. We were in pretty bad shape. The department is in good shape now."

Melton told the Jackson Free Press this morning that Lewis had trained under McMillin for his new role and that he had confidence that his nominee for chief is ready.

"I think the mayor's made his decision," McMillin said, referring to Melton's willingness to accept his letter of resignation.

When asked why he thought Melton had not chosen Assistant Chief Lee Vance for the new position, McMillin said Melton may be weighing his heaviest allies: "If I were mayor, I would want the person I trusted most, that I felt I was closest to, to be in a position to carry out the things I wanted him to do," he said.

Melton supported Lewis in his run against McMillin for Hinds County sheriff in 2006. McMillin won that race.

CORRECTION APPENDED: An earlier version of this story misquoted an earlier JFP story when it stated that Melton told the Jackson Free Press that he wanted McMillin to stay on to train Lewis. However, in that interview reported earlier today, Melton told JFP editor Donna Ladd that Lewis had already trained for 19 months under McMillin. He did not offer that McMillin stay on longer. The story above is now corrected.

Previous Comments

ID
145418
Comment

Note that I've corrected the story above. My earlier story did not report that Melton wanted McMillin to stay on to train Lewis. See correction above.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-04-01T18:50:49-06:00
ID
145419
Comment

Read McMillin's letter to Melton at WAPT.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-04-01T19:10:14-06:00
ID
145422
Comment

I have supported McMillian from the very first time he ran for sheriff. I know as a straight to the point honest man and I can respect him for his character. Sarah O'Reilly Evans is behind 90% of the problems with the City of Jackson and Melton keep her over the City Legal Dept. I really hope that McMillian does not endorse or support Crisler for mayor I really feel that if he takes this position he will lose the respect and the credibility he now have in Hinds County. I really hope the Sheriff will sit out the Mayoral election in Jackson and now devte his attention to all of Hinds County without having to deal with the junk Melton puts down. Lewis will have his 90 days as Police Chief and he to will be gone. If I was Lewis and Melton and I were life long friends then why wasn't he appointed Police Chief along time ago? Does Melton think that will get him additional votes?

Author
Tony Davis
Date
2009-04-01T20:36:13-06:00
ID
145431
Comment

Am I the only one that thinks that it didn't look much like a resignation letter? Not once were the words, "I resign" or, "I quit" mentioned. It was, if you want my resignation I'll give it to you.

Author
Lady Havoc
Date
2009-04-02T08:11:02-06:00
ID
145443
Comment

I'm not saying that McMillan was being disingeuous as to his reason(s) for submitting the letter of questionable resignation. I agree with Lady Havoc that the tone of the letter left room for melton to simply say, I want you to stay in the position. WHY would McMillin want to keep both of the jobs? This is the largest police force in the State of MS. Because melton could not manage the Ctiy's business is no reason to give 2 jobs to one man. McMillin boasts about the police budget; however the real measurement of his success as chief is: Are citizens feeling safer, is there an improvement in the morale of officers and ultimately, is criminal activity decreasing? I'm not trying to put McMillin down: I'm only saying that the very thought of giving ONE man TWO jobs and TWO salaries is asinine. I think that the city could get a bigger bang for the bucks by having a FULL time chief thus allowing the sheriff to be full time in his/her position. We should not have to hire a baby-sitter for anyone holding the position as mayor. Isn't this the reason McMillin was given the position? Wasn't he hired to keep melton in check? By the way, what happened to all of the legal documents written by Dale Danks is this arrangement for McMillin to be both Sheriff and Police Chief? Just asking.

Author
justjess
Date
2009-04-02T09:37:00-06:00
ID
145446
Comment

I for one will miss the sheriff's department cars patrolling Belhaven.

Author
QB
Date
2009-04-02T10:52:29-06:00
ID
145450
Comment

Lee Vance is more than well-qualified to be chief and he's a leader also. Its just politics as usual.

Author
lanier77
Date
2009-04-02T11:24:41-06:00
ID
145458
Comment

Am I the only one that thinks that it didn't look much like a resignation letter? Not once were the words, "I resign" or, "I quit" mentioned. It was, if you want my resignation I'll give it to you. You have a point, LH. I read the letter, and the end of it is a little ambiguous: [blockquote]I will be out of town until April 13, 2009. If you wish me to resign, on your request, I will tender my resignation.[/blockquote] Hmmmm...

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2009-04-02T11:44:00-06:00
ID
145460
Comment

baquan: Exactly. That's why I said I was waiting for the JFP to get the REAL story. Nobody else can seem to do that.

Author
Lady Havoc
Date
2009-04-02T11:47:19-06:00
ID
145461
Comment

[quote]"Sarah O'Reilly Evans is behind 90% of the problems with the City of Jackson and Melton keep her over the City Legal Dept." - Tony Davis[/quote]Amen. [quote]"Lee Vance is more than well-qualified to be chief and he's a leader also. Its just politics as usual." -lanier77[/quote]All true, but Vance is not a lap dog, and definitely not Melton's. He would have turned it down if Melton had offered it anyway.

Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2009-04-02T11:56:11-06:00
ID
145462
Comment

I take McMillan at his word when he said it was contrary to his conscience to work for a man he could not support. This was a masterfully written letter and clear. McMillan is still the Chief Law Enforcement Official in Hinds County. He left the morale in the Department much improved as well as the operation of JPD. As to Chief Tyrone Lewis, he will do fine as an Interim. My personal belief is that Vance will be Chief in his turn. McMillan will probably endorse Crisler and rightly so. He is the best bet for the future of Jackson and will do the best with combating crime. I say a big hearty thanks to Mac for getting us back on tract and wish him God's Speed.

Author
Razor
Date
2009-04-02T11:59:06-06:00
ID
145470
Comment

That was clearly a resignation letter. The words "I resign" don't have to be there. But how can you keep a police chief (a political appointee) who basically says you're an incompetent a$$? Quoting McMillan, "While I believe that your aspirations for the City of Jackson have been and are good, I find that I cannot in good conscience support your bid for re-election. I feel that Jackson needs new leadership and a new direction...If you with me to resign, on your request, I will tender my resignation.” That's like saying to your girlfriend, "While I believe you are a good woman, I don't think it's gonna work out between the two of us. I need someone better. I'm going away for a while. If you wanna dump me, I'll understand." Yeah, you just dumped her! LOL

Author
eyerah
Date
2009-04-02T13:31:58-06:00
ID
145471
Comment

Good point, eyerah!

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2009-04-02T13:37:41-06:00
ID
145472
Comment

I would also like to add that I miss Mac's 'stache.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2009-04-02T13:38:21-06:00
ID
145504
Comment

eyerah, you said, "How can you keep a police chief (a political appointee) who basicall say that you are an incompetent a$$?" If we are going to be open, honest and fair, the question must be raised: Wasn't McMillin brought in by Dale Danks and some other White Power Brokers to keep frank in check? melton had absolutely nothing to do with McMillan's appointment and you guys know that. McMillan says in his letter that frank has allowed him to run the police department as he saw fit. In all due respect for the Sheriff, his move was totally political and it is my opinion that he walked out before the job was done to have another chance of holding BOTH positions again. I just don't believe that with all of the talent we have in this community, we are allowing one man to run TWO positions and with TWO salaries. This is CRAZY! This is politics at its best. frank hasn't done anymore this month than he has done in the past. You mean to tell me that McMillin couldn't stay just 4 more weeks? frank announced over a year ago that he was running for re-election. REMEMBER? Just asking

Author
justjess
Date
2009-04-03T11:20:41-06:00
ID
145517
Comment

I just can't believe that McMillian will endorse Crisler the do nothing but cry Jackson City Council member. I have supported McMillian for a long, long time but no more. What a shame! it look like this game was set up early on in order for Crisler to get some votes on McMillian shirt tail. If Crisler get to be Mayor then McMillian will become the City of Jackson Chief Administrator, The Police Chief and Hinds County Sheriff. Crisler last two terms clearly shows he is no leader just look at his ward. Is this a April fools joke? with Crisler being the fool?

Author
Tony Davis
Date
2009-04-03T13:45:48-06:00
ID
145579
Comment

It is interesting that this subject does not attract much attention. It's as if people are afraid of voicing opinions or that anything said about McMillin's position in this Mayoral race is totally above board. IT IS NOT! Again I say, McMillin did not support frank in his first election so why is it any BIG deal that he is unable to support him now? Again I say, McMillin was the very costly baby-sitter for melton. His job was to keep frank in check. This deal was negotiated by Danks, Barbour, etc. By the way, where is the formal document signed by McMillan and melton and did they use Danks and Barbour to disconnect the City's business from McMillian's business as Sheriff priod to the resignation? Will the sheriff's men continue to patrole Belhaven and other prize properties of Jackson? Tony Davis and I are perhaps supporting different candidates; however, our understanding in this matter is very similar, if not the same. McMillin has been identified as the man to oversee the City and citizens of Jackson. He will have a third cap added to his collection as he becomes Mayor, Chief-of-Police and Sheriff of Hinds County. There is a movement to get rid of older people, I think the age of being kicked to the curve is around 45. But before I'm put out of the loop, let me share with younger readers that this game is nothing new. It was a way of life on plantations in the South where ONE man, his wife and two children controlled hundreds of black folks. If you don't want to hear the stories of old: STOP repeating the behaviors! Here we are, 200 years later, and experiencing the same old painful issues we lived through and many suffered and died through. I will not believe that there is not one well trained and competent member of the police force who is capable of handling that job. My G-MA said it best, "You can use ONE horse to lead a HUNDRED mules. Wake up Jackson! We can do better.

Author
justjess
Date
2009-04-06T09:49:22-06:00
ID
145605
Comment

It is interesting that this subject does not attract much attention. Judging by the new poll numbers I'd say someone is paying attention. It's as if people are afraid of voicing opinions or that anything said about McMillin's position in this Mayoral race is totally above board. IT IS NOT! Huh? I'm not sure I really understand what you are trying to say but if you are trying to say that people are afraid to mention the political implications or motives behind McMillin's resignation let me take a stab at it. It seems pretty straight forward on it's face. McMillin has never been a Melton supporter as far as I know. He even went so far in the District Attorney's race to say, and I'm paraphrasing, that if Melton supported a candidate then he was against them. So with a position like that it would seem at odds to me that he would remain in that position as the election approached and give a passive, if not vocal, endorsement to Melton. As far as McMillin's endorsement of Crisler. Crisler is a Deputy so it isn't that far fetched for me to see the connection and where the endorsement comes from. Maybe there are behind the scenes deals at work, it wouldn't surprise me at all. But there is enough above the board stuff for it to make perfect sense to me. Again I say, McMillin was the very costly baby-sitter for melton. His job was to keep frank in check. Cost? How? Monetary? If it's dollars you mean then I'd say we got what we paid for. If you mean the cost of having a Mayor we need a babysitter for then that's not the Sheriff's fault. We are paying for what we voted for. Which is not to imply that I even agree that was why McMillin was hired. McMillin has been identified as the man to oversee the City and citizens of Jackson. He will have a third cap added to his collection as he becomes Mayor, Chief-of-Police and Sheriff of Hinds County. I assume you mean by this that Crisler would be a puppet of the Sheriff who is in turn a puppet of others who have identified him as the man who could pull this off? I suppose anything is possible but I have a hard time imagining McMillin as anyone's puppet. There is a movement to get rid of older people, I think the age of being kicked to the curve is around 45.But before I'm put out of the loop, let me share with younger readers that this game is nothing new. It was a way of life on plantations in the South where ONE man, his wife and two children controlled hundreds of black folks I had not heard of this movement (I did see Logan's Run though), but it could be because I am far too quickly approaching that age. I fail to see, however, how this situation is analogous to Plantation life. Yes, it's true that ONE man does control things, we call him Mayor or Governor or President. But we are hardly considered the property of that person.

Author
WMartin
Date
2009-04-06T15:37:31-06:00
ID
145606
Comment

If you don't want to hear the stories of old: STOP repeating the behaviors! Here we are, 200 years later, and experiencing the same old painful issues we lived through and many suffered and died through. I will not believe that there is not one well trained and competent member of the police force who is capable of handling that job. You don't have to believe it. It isn't true. There are members of our police force and other police forces around the country that could do the job and do it very well. What I don't get is how the first part of your post goes with the second part of your post? You are somehow tying it to racism that McMillin resigned and endorsed a different candidate than the one that hired him. I just don't see it. If I have misunderstood please set me straight but to cry racism at every turn is to desensitize people to the real racism that exists. It seems we need a new form of Godwin's law, only instead of nazi analogies it needs to address ones that deal with racism.

Author
WMartin
Date
2009-04-06T15:57:29-06:00
ID
145627
Comment

Baquan, the word "puppet" always gets thrown around this town. Folks are quick to call a candidate a "puppet". I guess because its the "radical" thing to do lol. Usually when someone has not found favor with a candidate, or a candidate doesnt really pay attention to them, or when one cant work his way into a person's inner circle, or havent found a way for a candidate to personally benefit them...then they brand them with the "puppet" tag. In this town being the majority Black city that it is, its come to be placed on any candidate who has white supporters, white friends, or anything white in their general vicinity lol. Maybe not all white folks but "Certain" white folks will get you tagged much faster. Leland Speed, McMillan etc. Have them support you and you are most certainly a plant. LOL. Just like the polls, if you listen to this "puppet" business you may miss out on hearing what the candidates are actually SAYING.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2009-04-07T10:17:36-06:00
ID
145628
Comment

I didn't call Crisler a "puppet." It is called trying to win at any cost. McMillin signed a legal document authored by Dale Danks and encouraged by Haley Barbour with melton to assume the Chief of Police position. melton signed on that he would not interfer with McMillin. The very idea of this goes against the grain of duties and responsibilities of the Mayor. McMillin's term would have ended in July so what was the big rush to terminate his contract 4 0r 5 weeks before the Democratic Primary? Don't get McMillin's "political capital with older blacks" confused. We can see the elephant hiding under the green on the pool table. This has all to do with the COLOR of leadership and Crisler, if elected, will pay a heavy price. It's hard to give up the chicken if you used the eggs. Just remember that he (Crisler) has already said that he would hire McMillin as his Chief, though both denied: The bell can not be unrang. To the gentleman, WMartin, it does feel like racism and it IS a reminder of plantation life where and the Master sets the tone and gives directives for and to all. There was not one single African-American in the negotiations with melton and McMillin. melton just stood there, grinning, hugging McMillin and vowing not to do anything that will would piss the chief off. For all of the reasons McMillin gave for leaving the job, there was absolutely nothing new. melton had all of his charges at the door so why did he accept the position at all?

Author
justjess
Date
2009-04-07T10:19:21-06:00
ID
145633
Comment

But did we not experience a mayor this past 4 yrs who went "against the grain of his duties and responsibilities" much to this city's detriment? Just saying.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2009-04-07T10:36:41-06:00
ID
145644
Comment

baquan2000... Johnson is a past mayor but not the incumbent, Melton is. So perhaps Crisler is not breaking the rules or by-laws....just thought I would point that out

Author
lanier77
Date
2009-04-07T11:46:27-06:00
ID
145647
Comment

That's interesting Baquan, about the frat by-laws. While certainly not binding as you point out, it is a Gentleman's agreement and as out-dated as the idea may be, it does say something about his honor and character that Mr. Crisler would break it. justjess, to your question about the big rush to terminate McMillin's contract 4 or 5 weeks before the Democratic Primary. If you read the letter the Sheriff wrote to Melton he tells the Mayor that he won't support his bid for re-election and if he wishes him to resign he will. Then the next thing you hear is that McMillin has resigned. Well, that says to me that Melton asked for and received the resignation. The subtext, I think, is; the endorsement of Crisler was coming either way. Of course, I am just a schmoe like anyone else on the outside looking in and this is all my opinion.

Author
WMartin
Date
2009-04-07T13:04:01-06:00
ID
145649
Comment

Baquan, Im a meber of said frat as you know. A D-Phi OG. Having been an office holder, parlametarian, and one whose chapter stressed proper regulations, protocol, and Roberts Rules of Order. To my recollection there is nothing in there that prohibits brothers from running from the sam public office. If there is a clause, it was outdated then and outdated now. I bucked silly things then and do now. Dont even get me started on how the frat has failed a new generation and completely gotten away from what I even joined the frat for in the first place. they are invisible in this town as are most of the Grad chapters for Black Greeks and the young ones do more stepping than anything now. But I digress. Either way, its neither divisive nor wrong form them to bothe run for office. Frat law doesnt govern politics or people's personal lives..unless they wish for it to. and if it was, then a lot of the frats I see today may not have evn got in...but again..I digress. this is coming from a guy who got tatted, was the super-frat, and bled and cried for the frat. wouldnt think twice about running for an office that i felt i was best for against a frat. Thats America. And would dare someone to question my character. those that know me know my frat pedigree so there words arent hollow. He should run as should all 46 of them should. LOL

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2009-04-07T13:14:30-06:00
ID
145651
Comment

I concur. And even when PROPERLY vetted, you can never tell what a candidate will do once in office. We've seen that right? LOL. As men, both are admirable, intelligent, experienced, and most of all capable. but I err on the side of caution and have been blessed to have heard nearly all of the candidates at Peaches. and Ive learned that a lot of em have good ideas, not so good chances of winning, but good idead nonetheless that should be heard by everyone. There's a gentlemen's unwritten rule Im sure (as is the case with a lot of our frats traditions) We'll have to sidebar about that. But IMO only goes for campus elections:-) all frats aint bruhs..and on top of that just because someone is a frat(of any fraternity)doesnt mean theyre qualified to stay in an office either. feel me?

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2009-04-07T13:41:32-06:00
ID
145653
Comment

What elected official in Jackson has been properly vetted of late? It's hard to do that with the kind of media we've had here for so long. And, sadly, many are improperly vetted as lies about them get passed around without question in some foaming-mouth political game.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-04-07T13:51:15-06:00
ID
145654
Comment

Well I can say up til now..This may be the most any candidates have ever done since Ive been a Jackson resident. Ive seen many campaigns here. And most times the candidates dont...or dont want to attend all the functions set up for them.. But luckily these guys are showing up at everything! Big and Small, radio, Peaches, Millsaps forum, JSU, Belhaen heights, northside Library, churches etc. I think they realize that this time, the people want more and they cant risk NOT showing up at everything. I think theyre getting grilled better than ever this rip. And Baquan you never took me up on my offer..I could show what Im involved in that will help speak to # 3, 4, and 5...at least!

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2009-04-07T13:59:51-06:00
ID
145657
Comment

A smart political move for a sheriff who wants to be re-elected to this position would be to sit on the side line and wait until the person who wins his party's primary surface. There are some strong and serious Democrats in this race, not only for mayor but, for the City Council. Just the thought of anyone thinking that their "Political Capital" with the "elderly" Translation: Black Folks, will allow them to do anything, antime and with anyone is just plain too presumptive. Be not deceived, there are many elderly people who are dismayed at the fact that ONE person could hold TWO excellent paying jobs as if no other person on the Police Force were capable, competent and intelligent enough to do so. We are outraged because there are men and women of all races trying to find employment and we have the luxury of giving ONE man TWO jobs when many haven't any. Many of the JPD members are 4 year college graduates and some have masters . Many of these officers could very well have done this job, evidenced by the fact that melton, the very next day, named another Chief and with the council standing wide eyed - not confirming him. WHY NOT? Who is the Council waiting on now to show them the light???? This again reeks of Jim Crow and Plantocracy. The lack of accountability and this Good Ol' Boy System is that mind set that keeps us at the bottom of everything positive and the top of everything negative. Crime for the past 19 months has been worse in this City under the dual position, SherChief, than at anytime in the history of this City.

Author
justjess
Date
2009-04-07T14:06:08-06:00
ID
145658
Comment

Heavy made me. and he was my next door neighbor when I grew up first part of young life behind Christian Brotherhood Apts..he'll tell ya..i actually knew him BEFORE I even pledged..and yessir Im certified! not to be off topic lol

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2009-04-07T14:10:59-06:00
ID
145660
Comment

This may be the most any candidates have ever done since Ive been a Jackson resident. I don't think this many people ran for President.

Author
golden eagle
Date
2009-04-07T14:28:55-06:00

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