There was an air of mystery surrounding the hiring of the late Jackson Mayor's personal body guard, Marcus Wright, by the Hinds County Sheriff's Department. The new sheriff, Tyrone Lewis, declined to discuss the matter until late Tuesday afternoon. His key spokesman told WLBT News it is a personnel matter.
This is a taxpayer paid position and an important one, head of Internal Affairs at the sheriff's department. Wright, offered a guilty plea and was convicted in Federal court in 2009, as part of an illegal raid on a Jackson duplex with Frank Melton and Officer Michael Recio.
Wright never served jail time. Forced to resign from the police department, he was put on one-year probation. Hinds County supervisor Kenneth Stokes said Tuesday, he had serious reservations about the hire.
We posed this question. "Are you concerned about his qualifications or the fact that he pled guilty to a federal crime and is now policing the sheriff's office?"
"Well a little bit of both. One thing that you must be concerned about other deputy's that because of the guilty plea that he shouldn't head that particular part of the Sheriff's Department. But at the same time your concerned about issues that go to court," said Stokes.
Other media outlets had tried to confirm the hiring as well. Late Tuesday afternoon, Sheriff Tyrone Lewis met with WLBT News. I said, "The answer was never given directly to us about his hiring."
In response Sheriff Lewis said, "Well now you have the story. He is a part of this department. He's no different when the previous administration hired Michael Recio. What makes it wrong for me to hire Marcus Wright and them to hire Michael Recio."
Sheriff Lewis said he was initially hired as an investigator and then promoted to head up the Internal Affairs Department.
The Hinds County Administrator confirmed Tuesday Marcus Wright was hired as an investigator February 1, 2012. His salary is $38,000.00 yearly.