JACKSON, Miss.–A new ad released Thursday by Republican candidate for attorney general, Mike Hurt, has been called a lie by incumbent Democrat AG Jim Hood. The ad accuses Hood of purposefully interfering with the investigation into former Mendenhall police chief Donald “Bruce” Barlow.
The ad features Sheriff Ken Lewis, who said in a press conference with Hurt that someone from Hood’s office tipped off Barlow to the investigation against him, giving him time to try and falsify paperwork and make evidence disappear.
“It is simply shocking that the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office would refuse to prosecute a public official who is extorting his fellow citizens, but it is nothing short of stunning that the office of Mississippi’s top law enforcement officer would actively help that individual evade prosecution,” said Hurst in a statement. He prosecuted the case in his capacity as U.S. attorney and Barlow got five years in the federal pen.
Lewis said that the feds had to take over the investigation from Hood at his request.
However, Hood maintained in a written statement that it is sometimes standard procedure for his office to hand matters over to the FBI because his office does not have the necessary power to wire tap.
“Out of desperation, Mike Hurst has manufactured a complete lie using a defeated sheriff as a mouthpiece,” said Hood’s campaign manager.
Hood’s office also said that his office gave up the case once federal prosecutors got involved.
Hurst has alleged during his campaign that Hood has been silent on public corruption cases.