Meridian Star

Local News

March 31, 2014

Bland suspends chief of police

JACKSON, Miss. — Meridian Mayor Percy Bland suspended Meridian Police Department Chief James Lee for five days without pay, effective today.

    Percy issued a written statement Monday afternoon outlining the reasons behind the suspension.

    "Traditionally, this would be a private matter, but in light of Chief Lee's position with the city, I felt that the public needed to know that serious steps were being taken," Bland wrote in the statement.

    Bland said last week an investigation had been launched into an allegation by a police officer that Lee threatened his job and humiliated him in front of officers in a staff meeting.

        Following the complaint filed by Sgt. J.C. Lewis, Meridian Equal Opportunity Officer Stacey Thompson responded in a letter that "After investigation of your submitted complaint concerning an offensive work environment by Chief of Police, James Lee, I find that there is enough evidence presented to conclude your work environment has been made offensive, intimidating, and threatening by Chief James Lee."

      In the letter that Lewis sent to Thompson, Lewis alleges that Lee cursed him and other officers during a staff meeting.

       Lewis' complaint was also filed with the Meridian Civil Service Commission Office.

    Read the full story in the Tuesday edition of The Star.

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