City reverses course, terminates officer

By SUSAN AMUNDSON,

An hour-long special city board meeting ended Friday night with the termination of a new hire.

Aldermen voted 5-0 after discussion in executive session to fire Joshua Strickland. Strickland was voted in Tuesday in the regular board meeting after Mayor Justin McKenzie cast the deciding vote when aldermen tied 2-2.

The Hattiesburg Police Department and the Mississippi Highway Patrol are investigating a Jan. 26, 2019, incident in which two people were killed in an automobile accident involving a Forrest County sheriff’s deputy. Strickland, who worked with the Forrest County Sheriff’s Office at the time, was not driving the accident but is a party to the investigation. Strickland and another officer, Deputy Chey Sumrall, were first placed on administrative leave before eventually resigning.

For more information on this story see the ‪Thursday, July 25, 2019‬, edition of the C-P.