JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Jackson County Sheriff Charles Britt has changed his mind and has decided not to run in the November election. The announcement comes just days after the sheriff fired a department employee, Louie Miller, who came under investigation by the state auditor's office.
After being fired Miller released secret recordings of a conversation with Britt about the investigation and accused the sheriff of playing politics in his decision.
"I joined this and I took this position with the board of supervisors and I asked for it for the right reason," Sheriff Britt said. "It was an opportunity for me to serve the community and the public and it's no longer the right thing for the right reason anymore. I'm not a politician I am a professional law enforcement officer."
Sheriff Britt took over in the midst of Sheriff Mike Byrd's legal woes eight months ago. Britt was hired by county supervisors in hopes of rebuilding the trust of the department and the community.
"I refuse to allow someone to drag a personnel issue out and drag these men and women at The Jackson County Sheriff's Department through the mud again they have suffered for years."
That is why Britt said he has officially withdrawn his name from the November ballot. But Britt does not want anyone to get the wrong idea, the sheriff said his decision to fire Miller was the right one.
"I've done everything I was supposed to do," Sheriff Britt said. "We've done some pretty good things at the sheriff's department, we have made some progress, those things I'm proud of and I believe I can hold my head high. We did a great job, they are good officers, they are good employees, they will carry on.
As for Britt's relationship with Miller, a man he considered a friend for more than 20 years, "God's told me to forgive, it will take a while," Britt said.
Britt said he plans to retire after his term as sheriff ends.
There are still 6 other candidates that will be vying for the position of Jackson County Sheriff. Those candidates are Jeff Barnes, Bob Cochran, Mike Ezell, Bruce Lynd, Soctt Mcllrath and Shelia Smallman. The election is Novermber 4th.