City Clerk takes over supervision of municipal court clerks

Published 5:20 pm Tuesday, July 9, 2024

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NATCHEZ — The Mayor and Board of Aldermen Tuesday approved returning the municipal court clerks to the supervision of the City Clerk.

The move came from a request by Municipal Court Judge Christina Daugherty.

The clerks, located at the city’s police department on D’Evereux Drive, are supervised daily by a police department commander and Daugherty.

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However, because they handle money and make deposits, City Clerk Megan McKenzie said they should be part of the City Clerk’s office.

“As part of the city’s special charter for years, the municipal court clerks were supervised by the city clerks. They are handling money and making deposits and dealing with money from that aspect. The direct supervision of the municipal court clerks should be done by the city clerk’s office,” McKenzie said. “At some point, the board moved the municipal clerk under the police department.”

Ward 2 Alderman Billie Joe Frazier said former police chief Joe Daughtry sought to have the municipal clerks put under his umbrella of authority.

Frazier, who served as a police officer for 32 years with the City of Natchez Police Department, has historical knowledge of its operations.

‘When Daughtry came here, he wanted to take everything under his order,” Frazier said.

He also noted that the city operated municipal court with three or four clerks and took in at one time $90,000 to $100,000 in fees.

“We have a significant backlog of court fees that haven’t been collected, and we are working with someone in collections to collect what is behind them,” McKenzie said. “It is a very significant amount. We would like to hire a third clerk and are going to try to put that in next year’s budget.”

The municipal court clerk’s office now collects between $30,000 and $40,000 per month.

The motion was approved unanimously.