Settlement reached in racial discrimination lawsuit against Harrison Co. Coroner

Settlement reached in racial discrimination lawsuit against Harrison Co. Coroner
Galloway pled guilty to one count of Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine on Feb. 6, 2018. (Photo source: WLOX)

A settlement has been reached in the lawsuit against Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove. Hargrove and was accused by 6 African-American-owned funeral homes in Harrison County of intentionally discriminating against them for at least two decades. The plaintiffs accused Hargrove of directing public business and public money to white-owned funeral homes. The lawsuit also stated the Board of Supervisors ratifies Hargrove’s conduct and had appropriated public money to fund his discrimination. However, the Board was previously dismissed as a defendant. 

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - The parties in the Williams, et. Al. v. Hargrove lawsuit have resolved their disputes. The case has ended with all sides reaching an agreement.

The trial began Monday with 3 days of testimony. The trial which was supposed to resume Monday will end due to the settlement reached.

In a statement released, the attorneys for the plaintiffs and Hargrove stated:

Rather than continuing with a contentious and expensive trial and in the interest of bringing our community together, the parties in Williams, et. al. v. Hargrove, have resolved their disputes. Because the case did not proceed to a verdict, there were no findings either way by the jury regarding the allegations of the Plaintiffs and no finding that the Coroner, Gary Hargrove, was guilty of any racial discrimination. Disputes about what happened in the past remain on both sides. However, the Plaintiffs and Gary Hargrove have reached a resolution that they believe is in their best interests and the best interests of all funeral homes in the county. The Harrison County Board of Supervisors was previously dismissed as a Defendant and Harrison County will likewise be dismissed. The parties are looking forward and hope to work together in the future to resolve any issues that still exist or that arise in the future.
The lawsuit was filed July 18, 2016.

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