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Mississippi mayor to city employees: Don’t talk to media

August 28, 2018

MCCOMB, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi mayor is telling city employees and other elected officials not to talk to the media, saying all information about local government has to come from him.

McComb Mayor Quordiniah Lockley, a Democrat, has been in office about two months. He told the Enterprise-Journal on Monday that he is the only city spokesman.

“If you all want to know something, you see me,” Lockley told the newspaper. “No city employee is supposed to talk to you.”

City Administrator Kelvin Butler sent an email Aug. 15 telling city employees, including police and fire chiefs, not to talk to the press. The email was also addressed to the selectmen on the city’s elected governing board.

One selectman, Republican Ted Tullos, told the newspaper he can speak about city issues.

“Some people are control freaks,” Tullos said. “I can give my opinion. ... I can speak for being an elected official.”

The email was sent at about the time the city board was in the midst of several turbulent meetings about department directors’ job security and about a selectman’s proposal to decriminalize the use of small amounts of marijuana. It was sent the same day the newspaper began inquiring about traffic tickets issued to another selectman. The mayor, however, said the email wasn’t a response to any specific Enterprise-Journal article.

“Understand right now in order to control what comes out of City Hall, to control what’s misconstrued by the newspaper or the radio, I want to make sure if it’s going to be misconstrued, it’s coming out of my mouth,” Lockley said. “Right now, until I get things the way I want it, all of it’s going to come through the mayor’s office.”

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Information from: Enterprise-Journal, http://www.enterprise-journal.com

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