Harrison Co. Utility Authority fires contractor - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Harrison Co. Utility Authority fires contractor

Posted: Updated:
HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

After weeks of controversy surrounding contractor S.H. Anthony, the Harrison County Utility Authority Board, in a unanimous vote Monday, decided to terminate its four year contract with the company.

Questions about the company arose in early February after the board fired Executive Director Kamran Pahlavan following news reports that S.H. Anthony purchased a car for Pahlavan.

Harrison County Utility Attorney Jim Simpson said, "The Board feels that the transaction was a violation of state ethics laws and board policy. S.H. Anthony is bound by its contract to follow state law and board policies, and ethics issues are always of paramount importance to the board members. We feel that this kind of breach is material and requires more action at this time... Based on the information provided to the board, the board feels termination of the contract is appropriate."

Harrison County Utility Authority President Billy Skellie said, "I prepare to make a motion to issue notification of termination of contract based on the ethics provision in that contract."

The motion was seconded, and passed without opposition.

Last week, I asked board members about concerns that S.H. Anthony was not fulfilling its contract. Acting Director Bart Clover admitted the company did not check lift stations for weeks. Though the board did not directly link firing S.H. Anthony to those questions, it gave the contractor's attorney a chance to respond.

Before the termination announcement, Skellie gave Hugh Keating, S.H. Anthony's attorney, an opportunity to respond or anything else you would like to bring to the board.

"Obviously, there's been some allegations made about the company have not been favorable. They have been very damaging to the company in the press and the media. The general public has just gotten a point of view that is not entirely accurate and we were hoping by Mr. Anthony submitting this letter to you that it would help you have a better understanding of the good things they have been doing, as well," Keating explained.

Keating reminded the board S.H. Anthony has been working with the Utility Authority for 20 years and the company's performance has never been questioned.

Though Keating declined an on camera interview with WLOX News, he released a statement from company owner Sean Anthony who promises to fight to keep the utility contract.

"The action is clearly unrelated to the job performance of S.H. Anthony, Inc," the statement read. "The board's action is without legal basis. S.H. Anthony will assert and defend all rights under its contract with the Harrison County Utility Authority in the appropriate forum."

S.H. Anthony has 30 days to respond to the contract termination. However, the company will continue to provide services for up to the next six months or until the Harrison County Utility Authority hires another contractor.

Copyright 2013 WLOX. All rights reserved.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Huge alligator snapping turtle set free

    Huge alligator snapping turtle set free

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 12:27 PM EDT2014-04-15 16:27:58 GMT
    There is good news for an alligator snapping turtle that was rescued from a drainage ditch a week ago. "Snappy," as the rescuers referred to the reptile, has been set free.More >>
    There is good news for an alligator snapping turtle that was rescued from a drainage ditch a week ago. "Snappy," as the rescuers referred to the reptile, has been set free.More >>
  • Fishermen say impacts still linger from BP oil spill

    Fishermen say impacts still linger from BP oil spill

    Thursday, April 17 2014 6:52 PM EDT2014-04-17 22:52:06 GMT
    Against a backdrop of shrimp boats, Vietnamese fishermen held message boards, along with pictures of dead dolphins, turtles and tar balls. Four years later, the impact of the oil spill remains.More >>
    Against a back drop of shrimp boats, Vietnamese fishermen held signs with pictures of dead dolphins and sea turtles this morning. They were at the fishing dock on Biloxi Back Bay to join advocacy groups in a news conference talking about the impacts of the BP oil spill four years later.More >>
  • Affidavit: Diary detailed cop's relationship with teen

    Affidavit: Diary detailed cop's relationship with teen

    Thursday, April 10 2014 6:53 AM EDT2014-04-10 10:53:05 GMT
    A Harrison County affidavit WLOX obtained said a young girl's diary detailed the relationship between former officer Patrick Klis and a 15-year-old girl. WLOX also found online pictures of Klis and a young girl.More >>
    WLOX News has uncovered new details about what led investigators to arrest a Long Beach Police officer for three counts of sexual battery involving a minor. A Harrison County affidavit WLOX obtained said a young girl's diary detailed the relationship between former officer Patrick Klis and a 15-year-old girl. WLOX also found online pictures of Klis and a young girl.More >>
Powered by WorldNow

208 DeBuys Road
Biloxi, MS 39531
(228) 896-1313

FCC Public File
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WLOX. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.