Vicksburg mayor’s check garnished by court

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 23, 2010

VICKSBURG (AP) — A Hinds County judge has ordered Vicksburg Mayor Paul Winfield’s city paycheck garnished to pay an alleged debt to St. Dominic-Jackson Memorial Hospital.

Winfield said the St. Dominic debt stemmed from his insurance company’s refusal to pay charges he incurred after a visit to the hospital on July 5, 2006.

Winfield, 36, makes $81,034 as mayor, a job that includes serving as treasurer of the city budget of more than $31 million. He also serves as Port Gibson’s city attorney, for which he has said he’s paid about $30,000 per year.

The Vicksburg Post said the mayor’s original debt to St. Dominic was $3,557. St. Dominic sold the debt to a collection agency last June.

Winfield filed a motion asking the court to lift the garnishment order. Court administrator Sylvia Bennett said Judge Houston Patton will review the mayor’s pleading Thursday.

Separately, in Warren County, an oil distribution business that lists Winfield as ‘‘manager’’ is named in four state tax liens and a lawsuit that accuses it of defaulting on a debt to another company, documents recorded by Circuit Clerk Shelly Ashley-Palmertree say. The records accuse the mayor of writing a bad check.

Winfield said he was not aware of the tax liens and declined to discuss the ongoing litigation against the company, Superior Oil & Supply, LLC.

‘‘I think it is totally inappropriate to print this in the newspaper,’’ Winfield said. ‘‘That is my comment.’’