Blistering report reveals problems within Sheriff’s Department

Lewis: ‘Most of what has occurred recently, we inherited’

By Othor Cain

Managing Editor

The Mississippi Link has obtained a copy of a 300-page report detailing problems that plagued the Hinds County Sheriff’s Department when Malcolm McMillin was the county’s top law enforcement officer.

The report was commissioned by then-candidate Tyrone Lewis, who defeated McMillin in 2011. “We’ve held this information for as long as we could, we were prepared to release it during the campaign but wanted to make sure that we ran a positive campaign,” Lewis said. “Given all of the recent headlines and the tendency of people to forget, we decided to release it now.”

The report compiled by Stanford Campaigns indicates that “although McMillin is well liked in Hinds County and around the state, he has his share of flaws.” Those flaws, during his 20-year tenure highlighted in the report shows:

• Dramatic increases in violent crime, citing FBI statistics

• No discretion or accountability, saying McMillin repeatedly passed the buck for prisoner-related problems under his watch.

• Foxes in the henhouse, which points to controversial hires, like ex-cons, by the former sheriff.

• Bending the rules for donors, friends and sports stars.

• Fiscally irresponsible, citing McMillin’s clashes with the board of supervisors over his budget, in part, because he can’t manage very well.

When questioned about his thoughts on the report, Lewis responded, “I was initially shocked but not surprised. This report details the fact that this department was mismanaged, money was misappropriated and staffers were poorly trained.”

“I wanted to make sure the public had a sense as to the depth of problems that we inherited once we took over this department.” Lewis indicated that McMillin was able to avoid media and public scrutiny. “The bad locks, inmates escaping and other problems during his tenure hardly ever made the news or became headlines for whatever reason,” Lewis said. “We felt it was important to share this information, because what is happening now is a continuation of some of the problems from the last 20 years. It was a time bomb waiting to explode because of the neglect.”

Our efforts to reach McMillin before press time were unsuccessful.