SOUTHAVEN, MS (abc24.com) - They've removed one man from office in Southaven, but it's not the one voters want out of City Hall.
The Board of Aldermen voted to remove the City Attorney Mark Sorrell at their May 1st meeting; he will now serve only as prosecutor. Aldermen say this move is in the city's best interest.
Sorrell has worked as a city prosecutor since 1985. In 2003, he was also appointed as the city attorney. The board now believes those two jobs need to be served by two people.
"We just want to make sure we're getting the best representation," says Alderman Ronnie Hale.
Aldermen decided that long time city attorney Mark Sorrell is no longer the man for the job.
"The personnel committee met and wanted to bring forth a motion to the board that the city seek proposals from individuals or firms that wish to assist the city with legal assistance," said Alderman Randall Huling at the board's last meeting.
Aldermen voted to choose a new lawyer to replace him.
"The city's so big now and there's so many things going on, we need someone with more expertise in municipal law," says Hale. "We're just making a change for the better."
The board isn't calling it a demotion, but there are rumors aldermen are unhappy with the way Sorrell's handled the investigation into Mayor Greg Davis.
The attorney publicly told Davis at board meetings not to answer any questions from Southaven residents about his spending of city money. It angered voters, who've shown up in force to question the mayor.
Board members say the city attorney's job is to represent the city, not the mayor.
"It's something we've been watching, making sure. There is a fine line he couldn't cross. I don't think we've had that issue, we just want to make sure and remove that problem from him," says Hale.
Sorrell makes $136,000 a year. His salary isn't changing, but aldermen say that it could be reduced in the future.
As far as when the board will choose a replacement, applications must be submitted by mid-May.