JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - The process of finding an interim replacement for former Jackson County sheriff Mike Byrd is now in full swing. County supervisors put the wheels in motion at their meeting Monday morning.
The search isn't going to be easy. Board President Mike Mangum said there are lots of possible candidates and little time to make a decision.
"We are taking resumes and we'd like those resumes in by 10am on December the 20th, which is Friday morning," Mangum explained. "Then we will go about going through those resumes and trying to figure out who the next interim sheriff is going to be."
Monday's meeting was the last of the year and supervisors hope to have a choice made by January 6, 2014. Will that mean special meetings? Supervisor Barry Cumbest had an answer.
"I think it's very possible," he said. "We're in the holiday season too, so that's going to make it a little hard. But we'll do what's necessary to try and get this thing working."
One interesting note about Monday's proceedings, the Board of Supervisors agreed unanimously to make the names of the applicants who turn in their resumes and letters of intent public this coming Friday afternoon. Supervisor Troy Ross said they feel the need for complete transparency in these days after the resignation of the former sheriff.
"This is different than hiring a regular employee. We're hiring someone who is actually a public official. So, because of the election process that usually takes to select a sheriff, it needs to be more of an open process than filling a normal county position," Ross explained.
Will the interim sheriff be prohibited from running for the office in November's special election?
"I don't want to block the door anyway, because I know we could select someone who initially he or she does not have an interest in running, but we may find they're doing a fantastic job and I'd hate to block them out," Supervisor Melton Harris said.
That's a feeling shared by at least two other supervisors.
Although no one knows exactly how many people may throw their hat into the ring for the interim position, it's widely believed there are at least 10 people interested in the job.