Melton: Tyrone Lewis to be New Chief | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Melton: Tyrone Lewis to be New Chief

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Keeping in mind that today is April Fool's, and anything could happen, Jackson Mayor Frank Melton told the Jackson Free Press earlier today that he is planning to announce at 2 p.m. today that he's replacing Malcolm McMillin—who has submitted his resignation—with Tyrone Lewis as the city's new police chief. "It's McMillin's choice," Melton said when reached by phone. "He's tired. He's done a great job."

Melton praised McMillin despite today's resignation, saying that he that has shown great integrity in a tough job. "I have nothing negative to say about him," Melton said.

Melton also mentioned that Tyrone Lewis has worked under McMillin for 19 months and is now ready to be chief. "He's come into his own," he said of Lewis.

Without being asked, the mayor was adamant that this change has nothing to do with the possibilty that McMillin "is supporting another candidate."

"This is America. He has the right to do what he wants to do," Melton said of McMillin, who has held both the police chief and the Hinds County sheriff's position since Melton's first chief, Shirlene Anderson, stepped down amid heavy criticism in 2007.

Melton supported Lewis when he ran against McMillin in the last sheriff's race. During the same county elections, in an exclusive interview with the Jackson Free Press, McMillin endorsed then-District Attorney Faye Peterson against challenger Robert S. Smith, Melton's choice for district attorney. Smith defeated Peterson in a run-off.

In 2006, Sheriff McMillin had Melton arrested after a Hinds County grand jury indicted him and his two bodyguards for the destruction of the duplex at 1305 Ridgeway St. The men were acquitted in state court, but Melton and one bodyguard now face a second federal trial in the case in May. The third bodyguard is testifying against them, saying that Melton was intoxicated and that the men knew their actions were against the law.

Last night, McMillin himself announced a press conference for 10 a.m. today. His aide, Steve Pickett, called two Jackson Free Press reporters in the evening to ensure that we were there this morning. But McMillin did not make an announcement then about stepping down. Melton said later that McMillin gave him his resignation at 10:30 a.m.

Tension had been growing between McMillin and Melton for weeks. Melton stoked officer/superior tension by recently complaining that police department heads were driving high-end SUVs. McMillin made a few humorous references about "white shirts" and SUVs at the Wednesday morning COMSTAT meeting.

Previous Comments

ID
145395
Comment

I would say Melton's gone off his rocker, but I don't think he's ever been on it.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2009-04-01T13:07:30-06:00
ID
145397
Comment

Melton wouldn't know how to look up rocker in a dictionary.

Author
Lady Havoc
Date
2009-04-01T13:17:41-06:00
ID
145400
Comment

Why now, and who's to say the next mayor will keep him? I think Melton did this as a last hoorah and to slap us in the face.

Author
golden eagle
Date
2009-04-01T13:27:38-06:00
ID
145403
Comment

As ridiculous as it is, Lewis was the obvious pick by Melton.

Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2009-04-01T13:49:50-06:00
ID
145407
Comment

Adam is at press conference McMillin is holding now.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-04-01T14:04:51-06:00
ID
145424
Comment

Tyrone Lewis is chief of police in name only. Frank Melton is the the police chief like he was when Shirlene Anderson was chief of police in name only.

Author
daw
Date
2009-04-01T21:48:11-06:00

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