STONE COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Despite controversy surrounding the county prosecutor, Stone County officials are assuring the public there will be no huge backlog of court cases. County Prosecutor Tadd Parsons submitted his resignation on Monday after being disbarred by the Mississippi Supreme Court Complaint Tribunal.
According to court documents, Parsons failed to comply with an order to provide financial records in an investigation alleging misappropriation or commingling of funds that should have gone to one of his clients.
Supervisors appointed an interim county prosecutor who happens to be the man who ran against Parsons in the last election.
"From the information that was provided to us, you can't hold the office of a county prosecuting attorney without holding a license to practice law in the State of Mississippi," said Scott Strickland, Board President. "So once he became disbarred, then it became incumbent upon him to vacate that position."
Supervisors unanimously appointed Board Attorney D. Scott Gibson as the interim county prosecutor, which is allowed under state law. Until the November election, Gibson will take on both roles.
"What the county prosecutor primarily does is he prosecutes cases in the youth court and he prosecutes cases in justice court," said Gibson. "Those are criminal cases in Justice Court and cases involving children and families in Youth Court that are confidential. It will take me some time to familiarize myself with those cases, but I've already had conferences with Justice Court and the clerks over there and the judges. I've started this morning with youth court."
Both Gibson and supervisors say the public should expect a seamless transition.
"I think they need to have confidence in the system and that we'll continue to do the work that we're required to do. The judges and the clerks and all the employees are doing a great job and have been doing a great job, and this doesn't reflect on them at all. People that are involved in those courts should have every confidence," said Gibson.
Parsons was in his third year of his first term as county prosecutor. Mississippi Bar officials said he can appeal his disbarment but hasn't done so. WLOX left a message at his law office for comment, but our call was not returned.