JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - A strong plea couldn't keep the Jackson County Board of Supervisors from voting to remove the newest Singing River Health System trustee from the board. For nearly 30 minutes, Clarence Dubose stood in front of the board making his case, but in the end - it fell on deaf ears.
"It's amazing to me how you can go from a unanimous vote in favor of an appointee, then you go to a 4-1 vote in favor of removal," said Dubose.
Dubose owns a pharmacy and hospice in Moss Point. He was appointed to the Singing River Health System Board of Trustees back in May. But shortly after, people began raising concerns that he has a conflict of interest.
"It might not have been an immediate conflict, but I see the potential for conflict down the road," said Supervisor Randy Bosarge.
Those concerns led to the vote Monday. But both Dubose and Board of Supervisors President Melton Harris Jr - who appointed him, both believe Dubose's business ventures would bring more value than competition to his role.
"You would have had a person who works the trenches every day. I'm talking to people every day who go in and out of that hospital for services. So if you're trying to design an institution that provides the best quality care for individuals and be open and honest with what those operations are, I don't think there could have been a better candidate," said Dubose.
Harris says he thinks the decision was racially motivated.
"It's hard to believe that it is not," said Harris.
In fact, tensions rose when he brought race up in the meeting. Supervisor Randy Bosarge made a hard argument that this has nothing to do with race.
"I am not a racist, by no means. I kinda take offense to that. But it's Melton, so I understand where he's coming from. It wasn't an easy decision."
When asked, Dubose said he thinks it has to do with culture.
"I think it's more of a fear factor more than anything else. When something isn't like what you're accustomed to seeing, then the caution flag comes up and that's what I see these people having dealt with today."
Dubose said now that the decision has been made, he's going to continue managing his businesses and bring up this issue with state legislators.