Jackson County leaders weigh in on Byrd's guilty plea

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Under Mississippi state law, a federal or state felon cannot serve in any public office including sheriff. With the sheriff pleading guilty to federal witness tampering on Tuesday, Jackson County supervisors say they've already considered what they'll do if Byrd resigns or if the attorney general removes him.

"Once that happens then we will go about replacing the sheriff with an interim and then we're looking at a special election in November of 2014 to fill the unexpired term of the sheriff," said Jackson County District 3 Supervisor Mike Mangum.

On November 3, 2015 there will be a regular election for sheriff. During the next two years, Jackson County could see three different sheriffs. Even with a new sheriff, officials say there are areas in the sheriff's office that could be improved.

"We know there's a communication problem. We know there are other things that we need to do to make sure to minimize something like this happening again. The things we must do as far as seeing how we can get budget under control. Different issues that we're probably be looking at," Jackson County District 2 Supervisor Melton Harris said.

Byrd has served in one of the most coveted positions of law enforcement for four terms all the while growing in popularity. However, Supervisor Mangum says people have given him a mixed reaction to Byrd's legal woes.

"They're shocked that this type of thing could go on here. And so while they're supportive of him they are looking at the opportunity here for us to move Jackson County forward," said Mangum.

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