Jackson Co. Fires Head of Criminal Investigations

Thursday, the Jackson County Human Resources Department confirms the Sheriff’s Department has fired Louie Miller, head of the department’s Criminal Investigations Division.

Jackson County Interim Sheriff, Charles Britt, says an internal investigation began soon after a complaint was filed, alleging Miller had violated department policies involving the disposal of diesel fuel stored on Singing River Island. Britt says, "The investigation did find some improprieties as far as departmental regulations, procedures, and following orders and instructions."

After the six week investigation was concluded, Miller was fired. According to the Sheriff’s Department, the investigation included "…consultations with the local Federal Bureau of Investigation office, the district attorney’s office, and the state auditor’s office."

However, Jackson County district attorney, Tony Lawrence, says in a press release issued late this afternoon, "The first time I was advised as to an internal affairs investigation was yesterday. If there has been an investigation into allegations of criminal activity, the results of that investigation, like all other criminal matters, should be presented to the citizens on the grand jury."

The Sheriff’s Department says the state auditor is now investigating the case. Britt was named Interim Sheriff in January after former Sheriff, Mike Byrd’s, resignation and criminal conviction. Britt closes, "The Sheriff’s Department has had a cloud over it in the past. One of my goals, since I’ve been here since January, has been to repair the image of the Sheriff’s Department. We’ve gone to great lengths to have transparency, honesty, and show the public that we’re going to do the right thing."

While Britt says Miller was fired because of the internal investigation, Miller’s attorney says the former deputy’s firing was politically motivated and improper.

Also concerning is Miller’s recent re-assignment by Britt from the Criminal Investigations Division to the Marine Patrol Division last week, while the investigation was ongoing.

Categories: Local News, News

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