GULFPORT - Former Jackson County Sheriff Mike Byrd will have to pay damages for harassment of a female deputy.
On Wednesday, a federal jury ordered Byrd to pay $260,000 in damages for inflicting intentional emotional distress on Sgt. Kristen Seibert.
Seibert filed suit in April 2014 saying Byrd sexually harassed and threatened to demote her when she refused his advances. Seibert's attorney Monte Tynes says the jury's verdict speaks volumes and notes that this kind of conduct is not allowed in our community.
Attorney Keith Miller also was on Seibert's legal team. Miller says the verdict shows that Seibert was subjected to the actions by former Sheriff Byrd and the jury believed what she had to say.
Byrd resigned in December 2013 after being indicted on 28 felony and two misdemeanor charges. Later that month, Byrd made a plea deal in that case and plead guilty to one federal charge of witness tampering and one state charge of intimidating a witness.
Byrd was sentenced to six months house arrest on both charges.