Senior staffer at Biloxi City Hall placed on leave after accusations he touched a child

Kirkland was arrested Tuesday.
Kirkland was arrested Tuesday.(Photo source: Biloxi PD)
Updated: Dec. 18, 2019 at 11:58 AM CST
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BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - An employee with the city of Biloxi has been placed on leave after being arrested this week and charged with inappropriately touching a child.

Cliff Kirkland, who is the city’s Civic Innovation and Development Officer, is facing two counts of touching a child with lustful purposes.

The 67-year-old was arrested Tuesday for the alleged crimes and taken to Harrison County jail, where a $200,000 bond was originally set. The bond was later reduced to $50,000 on each count for a total of $100,000 on Wednesday, which he is expected to post and be released under the following conditions:

  • No contact or communication with the alleged victim.
  • No contact with any other minor under 18-years-old without another adult present including family.
  • Must attend all future court appearances.

“I beg of you to follow all of these requirements, so no other motions are filed against you,” the judge warned Kirkland.

Kirkland bonded out of jail at 7:15 p.m. Wednesday.

Wednesday morning, Biloxi Mayor Andrew “Fofo” Gilich released a statement saying he was shocked by the allegations but will see that justice is served.

"As Mayor, I will always put the City of Biloxi's interest first," Gilich said. "These charges are shocking. While I have known Cliff Kirkland for over 30 years, be assured there will be no special treatment. As a Civil Service employee, he is entitled to due process."

The mayor said he will brief the City Council on Monday at a special-called meeting.

Police said they received reports on Friday, Dec. 13, and that these crimes occurred at a house on Thomas Street.

No other details have been released at this time by authorities because this is a pending investigation that involves sexual crimes against a child.

Kirkland is a Biloxi native who has previously as the city’s chief administrative officer. According to his biography, he is now the City’s Innovation and Development Officer, which acts as the primary contact for those looking to do business in Biloxi or expand existing businesses.

He also serves as Biloxi’s representative on the Harrison County Board of Commissioners, which is a position that was appointed by the city.

Kirkland also works closely with the city attorney to create incentives for innovative high-tech business development across the city, as well as working with local, state, and federal agencies to coordinate economic development.

Anyone who has information regarding this incident or any other incident should contact the Biloxi Police Department at (228) 392-0641 or Mississippi Coast Crime Stoppers at (877) 787-5898.

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