“On July 10, 2020, we, the Board of Aldermen for the City of Moss Point, were made aware of the federal indictment against Mayor Mario King. After reviewing the indictment, it appears that all counts are related to Mayor King’s private LLC and the use of proceeds received for the Mayor’s private Gala. There are no allegations related to his office of Mayor of Moss Point. The cost of the Mayor’s defense will be solely on the Mayor and will not involve any taxpayer dollars!
We are aware that the citizens are concerned as to how this indictment will affect City Government and whether or not the Mayor will be able to maintain his office. The Mayor’s seat is not vacated as a result of the indictment. According to Mississippi Code Annotated, Section 25-5-1, he cannot be removed from office unless he is convicted of or enters a plea of guilty or nolo contendere for a felony. At this stage, he has been arraigned, but there has been no plea. It is our understanding this could be set for trial as early as September of this year.
While this matter is pending, we want to assure all citizens that the City business will continue as usual. There is a Mayor Pro Temp in place, in the event the Mayor is unable to fulfill any of his duties. The Mayor Pro Temp has been and will continue to be kept up to date on all current issues in City Hall and will be ready to step in, if and when, it is needed. Likewise, the Board of Aldermen will remain involved in all city activities, to the extent allowed by law, and will make certain that the City moves forward despite today’s news.
There has been no indication that the Mayor intends to resign as a result of the indictment, and the Board of Aldermen cannot force a resignation. We understand that many citizens have expressed concerns over the Mayor staying in office due to the nature of the allegations, but we would like to reiterate what was stated by the U.S. Attorney, Michael Hurst in today’s press release from the Department of Justice, “the public is reminded that an indictment is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt. Every defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.” The Board will do all we can to make ourselves available to the public and to oversee the operations of the City.”