Callaway tapped as prosecutor by Natchez aldermen

Published 12:12 am Thursday, December 19, 2019

NATCHEZ — City of Natchez officials appointed Bryan Callaway to be the next city prosecutor Wednesday during a special-called board meeting.

“He has a tremendous amount of prosecuting experience,” Natchez Mayor Darryl Grennell said of Callaway Wednesday.

Grennell said Callaway has approximately 30 years of law experience and served as both the prosecuting attorney for Adams County and the Assistant District Attorney.

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The city prosecutor’s job is currently held by Shameca S. Collins who won the race for Sixth Judicial District Attorney’s office earlier this year.

Collins will take the position that is currently held by Ronnie Harper in January and needed a replacement for her city position.

Early in Wednesday’s meeting, the board unanimously voted to enter an executive session to discuss personnel matters and consider two candidates for city prosecutor, Natchez Mayor Darryl Grennell said.

Grennell said the only other candidate to express interest in the city prosecutor position was Lisa Chandler, who also has more than 30 years of legal experience.

After returning to the meeting from executive session, the Board of Aldermen appointed Callaway by a majority vote of 4-1, with Aldermen Billie Joe Frazier voting “no” and Alderwoman Joyce Arceneaux-Mathis abstaining her vote.

“I have nothing personally against either of these candidates, I just feel like there should have been a longer discussion about it,” Frazier said.

In other matters during Wednesday’s special-called meeting of the Natchez Mayor and Board of Aldermen, the board:

  • Unanimously extended the deadline to March 31 for completing Emergency Watershed Protection Program projects at various sites so the city could continue to receive reimbursement from the EWP program through their completion in the event of weather delays.
  • Heard an update on the U.S. Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ Land & Water Conservation Fund grant Natchez Aquatics Center. Community development director James Johnston met with the Adams County Board of Supervisors earlier this week do propose a cost-share agreement for more improvements to the aquatics center on Liberty Road using additional money that has become available in the grant. The city and county would share half the cost of the added improvements for just under $20,000 each. Johnston said he would meet with the Board of Supervisors again on Jan. 6 to discuss the additions to the project.
  • Unanimously accepted a federal reimbursement to the Natchez Railroad for $166,325.39 from the TIGER Discretionary Grant Program for which the City of Natchez serves as a conduit. The Natchez Railroad is undergoing several safety improvements through the program, including changing out railroad crossing signage and increasing the load-bearing capacity. Johnston said after the Natchez Railroad increased the scope of work earlier this year all of the improvements could be completed in June 2021.