Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics Chief of Staff resigns under pressure

“I had to put the needs of the state of Mississippi ahead of the person in charge of my agency,” resignation letter states

Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics Chief of Staff resigns under pressure
Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - A top official at the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics resigned Tuesday, according to a letter obtained by WLBT today.

Allison Killebrew, the Chief Counsel and Chief of Staff at the Bureau, wrote a resignation letter that was sent to Director John Dowdy and apparently several dozen MBN agents broadbrushing her reasons for her departure, which she says was forced. She confirmed to us that the letter below is hers, in full.

“I am at peace with the decision to resign. While I was not provided with any real choice other than to leave on my own terms by resigning or being terminated, I know I do have the option for my resignation to be in my own words,” Killebrew wrote. “Resignation is appropriate if you ‘have lost all confidence in me;’ your words when I asked why this decision was being made. You should freely choose the counsel who represents you.”

Dowdy told us by text message that “MBN does not comment on personnel matters.”

Killebrew has worked with the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics since 2015. Prior to that she has worked for the state since 2007.

Dowdy was appointed Director by Governor Phil Bryant in September 2016. Prior to that, he was a career prosecutor with 28 years at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and headed the U.S. attorney’s criminal division beginning in 2004.

The letter states that Killebrew felt she had to put the needs of the state and the agency ahead of Dowdy’s needs.

“In a perfect world, a director and their state attorney have the same goal, but sadly this world is not perfect and that is not the hand I was dealt,” Killbrew wrote.

See the full letter below.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

October 8, 2019

Director John M. Dowdy, Jr.

Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics

P.O. Box 720519

Byram, MS 39272-0519

Re: Resignation

Director Dowdy,

This letter should be considered my official resignation from my position of MBN Chief Counsel/Chief of Staff, effective October 8, 2019. I barely had the opportunity to read the resignation provided to me this morning, a resignation I did not write.

I am at peace with the decision to resign. While I was not provided with any real choice other than to leave on my own terms by resigning or being terminated, I know I do have the option for my resignation to be in my own words. Resignation is appropriate if you “have lost all confidence in me;” your words when I asked why this decision was being made. You should freely choose the counsel who represents you.

However, you seem to misunderstand that the MBN legal office does not represent you. Rather, it represents the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics and the State of Mississippi. There have been times in my career with the state of Mississippi that I have been required to provide unwelcome advice to the individual who heads the agency that is my client. That as an officer of the court I have been required to be truthful in hard situations, and that I had to put the needs of the state of Mississippi ahead of the person in charge of my agency. In a perfect world a director and their state attorney have the same goal, but sadly this world is not perfect and that is not the hand I was dealt.

While you may have lost faith in me, I lost faith in your ability to do the right thing for the employees of MBN and the state of Mississippi many months ago. However, I stayed at MBN out a love for the people I worked with and the desire to make working at MBN better. This is not how I would have envisioned my departure from the agency, but I am in agreement that it is time.

I wish the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics many good days ahead.

Sincerely,

Allison Killebrew

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