The City of Moss Point remains in hot water, along with Mayor Mario King, after multiple allegations of discrimination and harassment surfaced.
Mayor King stopped by our station today to ‘set the record straight.’
Eleven people, current and former Moss Point employees, have a lawsuit against Mayor Mario King and the City of Moss Point. “While the allegations are irrational they are all too common for municipalities like Moss Point. Our focus right now is to move forward and to maintain the structure and organization that we’ve put in to place over the course of the time that I’ve been elected.”
The lawsuit includes claims that Mayor King is actively forcing older employees to retire or resign to replace them with millennials. “Moss Point is an equal opportunity employment agency. We embrace everyone and I definitely believe in diversity and inclusion and we do not exclude anyone from any hiring practices. Actually we promote and fortunately we’ve been able to have a diverse hiring pool as we came in, but still not diverse enough as we want it to be. But we definitely do not discriminate and we definitely encourage anybody to apply regardless of your ethnic makeup, age, gender, or race.”
While Mayor King says the city employees are not being discriminated against, some claims tell a different story. The lawsuit against Mayor King and the city also accuses him of using a firearm to intimidate and harass a worker, a claim he says would have had immediate repercussions. “Most of the allegations they would have had immediate legal impacts. One for pointing a gun and those types of things, those are things our chief nor myself would tolerate at all in the building.”
When it comes to mishandling the city’s taxpayer funds: “The mayor has no ability or authority to actually spend money. That’s all given by state code to the board of aldermen.”
The city is being represented by Dogan and Wilkerson Attorney at Law. King says he is confident in the city’s legal team and will remain focused on being a role model to the community. “I’m a young, black elected official in the state of Mississippi. So many people look at this position as the galvanization of success for a young black man. As a leader, what’s so impactful to me is being able to demonstrate how you respond to allegations or how you carry yourself and you always do it with dignity and class.”
This is the second lawsuit filed against the mayor in as many months. Alderman Ennit Morris filed a lawsuit against King last month claiming the mayor had him ‘forcibly arrested’ for questioning his expenditures.