Former OS public works director airs grievances against mayor - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Former OS public works director airs grievances against mayor

Kaufman speaking to the Board of Aldermen and Mayor Connie Moran (Photo source: WLOX) Kaufman speaking to the Board of Aldermen and Mayor Connie Moran (Photo source: WLOX)
OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) -

One former Ocean Springs city official has been cleared of alleged wrongdoing. Former public works director Andre Kaufman was accused of selling city-owned material for his own profit. 

Tuesday night, he addressed the board of aldermen about the investigation that went on for multiple years. 

"If I don't have the right to sit here today and speak, then you don't have the right to be mayor," Kaufman said to Mayor Connie Moran. 

Tensions ran high at the Ocean Springs Board of Aldermen meeting. 

"It's not a forum for you to bash me personally or any member of this board, so I will ask you to refrain from such comments," Moran said in response to Kaufman. 

"I felt that it was incumbent on me, that it was fully incumbent on me, to go before the board and make sure that they were fully aware of all that I've been put through," said Kaufman. 

Kaufman addressed the board and mayor after being investigated for nearly four years on claims that he was selling scrap metal for personal gain, an investigation that has come to a close after a Jackson County Grand Jury found insufficient evidence to prosecute him on possible fraud charges. 

"For 18 months, these members had no idea you had an investigation going on with the state auditor," said Kaufman to the aldermen and Moran. 

Moran says that's not true.

"I stayed out of it and didn't even know the state auditor was investigating until they showed up at the city and that time interviewed each alderman separately," said Moran.

For now, Kaufman and his family are just happy to have gotten everything out in the air. 

"This day has needed to come. Everyone needed to hear how he's thought and how he's felt, and not only has he been affected, but our whole family has been," said Kaufman's daughter, April. 

"I wish him a great retirement. It was not a witch hunt against this man personally, although I can tell you it has been the other way around. I have also been incredibly maligned," said Moran. 

Kaufman said he's considering taking legal action, and he's waiting on an apology for what he calls false allegations.

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