“I certainly respect the Constitution, but we have some issues that are much bigger than the Constitution.” The late Frank Melton - Ex-Mayor of Jackson, Mississippi
Some of Melton's outrages noted :Mississippi civic leader was facing trial over sledgehammer attack
The Associated Press - 8:52 a.m. ET, Thurs., May 7, 2009
JACKSON, Miss. - Frank Melton, the mayor of Mississippi's largest city, died early Thursday, two days after losing a primary re-election bid and days before he was set to stand trial on federal civil rights charges. He was 60.
Melton died at a Jackson hospital with his wife by his side, city spokeswoman Goldia Revies told The Associated Press.
Trial had been set to start Monday for Melton and a former bodyguard, who each faced two federal civil rights charges related to a sledgehammer attack on a duplex on Aug. 26, 2006, that Melton considered a crackhouse.
It would have been their second trial. A judge declared a mistrial in the first case in February after a jury failed to reach a verdict.
He was elected by a landslide in 2005 after campaigning on a tough-on-crime platform. Since then, however, he was hounded by legal problems related to his unorthodox tactics.
Prosecutors say he was drunk on scotch and power when he ordered a group of young men — some with criminal records — to destroy the duplex in a poor neighborhood. Melton said he was only trying rid the city of a drug den.
• He once stopped a school bus on a busy interstate because he “needed a hug” from the kids inside.
• He’s been known to strap weapons to his chest and leg that he has no authority to carry or conceal, then wear them in public.
• He regularly suits up and leads SWAT-style “raids” on homes, businesses, and even roadblocks in busy traffic—without cause or a warrant.
• He has tried to close down the city’s strip clubs for moral reasons, despite no authority to do so.
• He once bulldozed an elderly woman’s house, promising to build her a better one. He then forgot to build it.
• He recruited a team of kids to torch a row of dilapidated shotgun houses, without clearance or first turning off the utilities.
• He keeps a house full of young men, including minors and/or felons, without having the proper foster-parent credentials.
• He once hid two of those young men wanted for armed robbery from the district attorney and county sheriff, driving away with one of them in his car after deputies stopped them and tried to serve a warrant on the young man (who later assisted with the duplex demolition).
This was not a good man.