Britt: Jackson County heals when 'cancer' is removed

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - Jackson County's interim sheriff had some colorful descriptions of the department he ran for most of 2014.

Charles Britt sent a goodbye letter to the sheriff's department staff Monday afternoon. In that letter, Britt called the sheriff's department employees loyal and hard working.  He said it was an honor and privilege to work with them.

But, that letter also contained worked like self-serving and cancer to describe a handful of the employees who fight crime in Jackson County.

"I caution you," Britt wrote, "this agency still has a few self-serving individuals who wave the flag of the department, but in reality there only true interest, is their own personal agendas."

Britt believes these people will continue to resist change.

"Your agency will never be allowed to heal until this cancer is cut out and removed," the county's interim sheriff wrote. "I truly hope and pray for each of you and Sheriff Ezell."

Britt became the interim sheriff in January. During his 11 months as Jackson County's top law enforcer, he felt the department made a great deal of progress to get past any problems caused by former sheriff Mike Byrd.  "With this being said, you still have a great deal of work to do," wrote Britt. "You are an honorable group of men and women and I know that you are dedicated to this mission."

Britt considered running for sheriff to fill the last year of Byrd's term. But Britt withdrew when questions surfaced about his candidacy. Six others did run. Mike Ezell won the November 3 election, and the November 24 runoff.

Ezell took his oath and became Jackson County's sheriff Monday afternoon.

When asked about Britt's email, a spokesperson for the new sheriff called it the interim sheriff's opinion. "It's a new day in Jackson County and we are collectively as a law enforcement family moving to make positive changes in the community."

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