JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - For nearly 24 hours, WLOX News has been hearing through a lot of sources-- phone calls, emails, and Facebook -- that something is going on in the Jackson County Sheriff's office. Specifically, that something is going on concerning Sheriff Mike Byrd.
It began Monday with tips that the sheriff had packed up his office. Then today we heard that he would hold a news conference, and if that news conference took place, District Attorney Tony Lawrence would hold a news conference right after.
Sheriff Byrd told WLOX News reporter Doug Walker he had no immediate plans to step down. Someone in the sheriff's office also denied that a news conference would take place.
We have made phone calls to many other sources and although we were told a lot of information off the record, no one would go on the record about exactly what, if anything, is happening.
In recent months, Sheriff Byrd has come under fire for 18 arrests his investigators made in child porn cases where the grand juries found no wrong doing and the charges were thrown out.
The most prominent of those dismissed cases was one against James Hagan, an Ocean Springs alderman at the time he was arrested in November 2011. The charges against Hagan were thrown out earlier this year. Hagan now has a $30 million federal lawsuit pending against the sheriff, four deputies and the county.
The Jackson County Narcotics Task Force was the subject of a state investigation following the shooting in the Narcotics Task Force office in July 2012. That Task Force had come under scrutiny as well following the case against Dr. David Allen. The charges were ultimately thrown out in that case, as well.
You'll recall the jury in Allen's first trial could not reach a verdict-- the DA then said there would be no second trial and dropped all charges against Allen.
We'll keep you posted on WLOX.com and WLOX News on anything that comes to light as we try to determine just what, if anything, is happening in the Jackson County Sheriff's Department.