Hattiesburg Fire Chief Paul Presley Plans to Promote Illegal Voter Joe Anderson to Captain


presely2Leadership at the Hattiesburg Fire Department is becoming a disgrace. But given the history of the Fire Chief that's no surprise. Chief Paul Presley never took the exam to become assistant chief, which is required by the Civil Service Commission. Mayor Dupree allegedly told Presley that he didn't have to take the exam. Chief Presley also allowed Firemen Joe Anderson and Greg Hinton to leave the fire station to vote illegally during Hattiesburg's mayor election, knowing that they were not residents of the city.  In doing so, Presley enabled the illegal voting to take place.

When asked about promoting Joe Anderson Presely told WDAM of his close personal friend,

"He hasn't done anything within the department," said Presley of Anderson.

Anderson plead guilty to voting illegally voted in the 2013 Hattiesburg mayoral election.  Joe Anderson, his wife Carmon, who is the Human Resources Director for Hattiesburg Public Schools, and the City of Hattiesburg's Public Defender Alethea Shaw all pleaded guilty to voting illegally. They are ordered to pay $420.84 to the Forrest County Circuit Court, will serve 6 months probation, and be subject to alcohol and drug screening.

The Hattiesburg Patriot was the first news source to uncover the illegal voting involving the Andersons and Alethea Shaw.

Chief Presely and Joe Anderson are very close friends according to HP sources.



113 thoughts on “Hattiesburg Fire Chief Paul Presley Plans to Promote Illegal Voter Joe Anderson to Captain

  1. Melissa Smith

    Overtime through the roof, voting illegally, theft, and undeserving promotions…..wow…..Sounds like the fire chief needs to be replaced. The mayor and city council need to be looking for a chief. We all need to pray for the city.

  2. Sara Hill

    The most qualified person should be promoted. If he is the most qualified person for the position then it should be him. Honestly, IMHO, after a city employee illegally votes in a city election, he should no longer be a city employee. But this is Hattiesburg.

  3. 2cthomas2

    HFD to the…UHHH, RESCUE???
    IF WE ALLOW COMMERCIAL BURGLARY, even though it was a truck, TO BE SWEPT UNDER THE RUG, DOWNPLAYED, CANDY COATED, WHAT ARE WE TO ALLOW IN THE FUTURE??? Policemen rummaging thru wrecked cars, keeping valuables from burglaries, JUST WHAT???
    Five members of the Hattiesburg Fire Department have been demoted after an investigation into theft of packages from a UPS truck.
    Fire Chief Paul Presley said three officers were demoted: two from captain to lieutenant and one from lieutenant to engineer. The officers also received a year-long probation.
    Two other firefighters who were demoted also received a year’s probation, along with reprimand and one shift without pay.
    If the firefighters incur violations during their probation, they will be terminated.
    Presley declined to give the names of the fire department members.
    “Those individuals got disciplined for it,” he said. “The Pre-Action Committee pretty much came up with the decision to demote, so that’s what I did.”
    Three (3), out of five (5) demoted! “SO WHAT”! What about PAY??? Didn’t say anything about that, did he! And PROBATION! L-O €u(k¡n¿ -L!!! Two (2) others demoted! From where to where? Not much room for demotion from “PROBIE”. The below is the basic ladder of status:
    1. Volunteer firefighter; 2.Probationary firefighter; 3. Firefighter/EMT; 4. Firefighter/Paramedic. 5. Driver Engineer; 6. Lieutenant; 7. Captain.
    Oh yeah, they did receive a reprimand, other wise know as…a slap on the wrist! Wait a minute. They did also receive a shift without pay. Whheeww! And I thought they were getting off easy. Say what, only one (1) week paid vacation instead of two (2)! Boy, that Fire Chief Paul Presley must be a real animal, a beast…LOL!
    Presley declined to give names of the thieves, I mean firemen. WHY NOT??? They’re CRIMINALS!!! Isn’t that “public information”? Oh…they weren’t prosecuted. WHY THE HELL NOT??? THEY’RE THIEVES, ROBBERS, BURGLARS, CRIMINALS! What, are they kind to the Clintons ? They should be treated as any other thief! More so, be trusted servants of the city!!! One more thing. What the hell IA a “Pre-Action Committee and who’s on it???

  4. Bobby Dillard

    While this is a terrible and unfortunate event that may have occurred, please do not cast negative judgement on the members of the Hattiesburg Fire Department as a whole. We are still a hard working force dedicated to the services provided to the citizens, businesses and guests of Hattiesburg, MS, as well as any person or company that use our roads as a means to travel through our city.

    This does, and will, reflect negatively on the city and department, but please understand that the actions of a few do not represent the character of the department.

    Thank you!

  5. Mary Lewis

    I thank everyone who came forwArd with facts that helped educate many readers that were unaware of the duties and pay difference of firefighters here in hattiesburg. And the duties, hours and sacrifices their families make daily. The issues that are reported or shared on this web site also have provided issues or concerns that have effected many honest people’s pocket books or outcomes they personally have experienced. So please read the news shared carefully, if you don’t have the facts ask it as a question to get a better understanding of issues or concerns you are steamed up about… And please remember it takes time to correct things that have gone terrible wrong and a lot of support and praise for those in public service that had and have to work in this mess .. Their jobs are high stressed enough I ask that you please don’t add to it more. It was somes choice in making the decision that may make you have questions of … Ask those individual questions to get facts.. Those that are sworn into public service were given the guidelines . A few just made a different decision which is very very sad and concerning .

    1. Kim Mason Barlow

      The fire started at like 5 am if I’m not mistaken…and 2 hours later when I was taking my son to school, it was as if it had just happened. Other PCS parents were saying that it was still bad at 9 am. Lots of folks late for work that day.

    1. Zeb Mitelsztet

      No Mary we make way less than the Police and do just as much! Just because you don’t know what we do doesn’t mean we do less. The only thing correct in your statement is there is never a reason to be a thief. You should have left it at that

    2. Shere' Green

      My husband works for the fire department and believe me when I tell you that my husband and the rest of the firefighters DO NOT “make more money than the police” department, and they work HARDER than you or anyone else may think!!! My husband and the majority of his coworkers have NO OTHER CHOICE but to work two or more jobs to make ends meat to support themselves and their families. No matter how LITTLE this city pays my husband he is NO thief. I can’t speak for the people that this article is referring to if this proves to be true, but I can speak for my husband.

      The majority of the people in charge of this city as well as a lot of the residents of this city DO NOT respect the men on this department and the risk they take everyday they work. They are OVERWORKED and UNDERPAID, but no one wants to talk about that.

    3. Richie Steele

      I would say let me get a good look at you just in case that much less ever leads to you, but ya know what I’d help you anyway. I can’t believe you would make such a statement. There was obviously a mistake made between to entities the ups and the fire dpet. Poor choices by two different leaders. Don’t you dare hang that on a profession of people that would risk dying themselves to save you. Sometimes I wonder why I got into this profession, so unappreciated sometimes it’s ridiculous.

    4. Richie Steele

      I’d almost say why don’t you come by the station and live a day in our shoes, get up at 430 am and be at the station by 615. Make sure you wear blue pants, blue t-shirt, work boots. Bring a few sets of clothes to including some workout gear. You’ll need all that. Breakfast and lunch to would be a good idea.

    5. Luke Fordham

      Mary youre about ignorant making comments on something you have no clue about. I have been a fireman for 10 years and make 35,100 and thats including the incentive pay for classes i have gone to. When a rookie cop graduates the academy he makes 35,000. So, it has taken me 10 years to reach 35,100 and the cop makes 35 right out of the academy. Get your facts straight. Firemen do a lot less huh, how about medical calls, structure fires, car fires, gas leaks, hazmat scenes, rope rescue, confined space rescue, trench rescue, search and rescue, dive rescue, etc. Firemen were up all day at work yesterday and then were up from around 115 until they got off at 630 this morning. They got what, 2 or 3 hrs of sleep because of working a house fire, just to get off work and go to their second job today.

    6. Michael Davidson

      MS Harvison. I retired from HFD in June of this Year. My Salary Compared to a Police Officer with the City of Hattiesburg was more than $20,000 dollars a year less. Hattiesburg Firefighters work more hours per pay period than Hattiesburg Police Officers. And are Paid a lot less. When you speak on a subject at least have knowledge of the Subject.

    7. Andy E. Easterling

      Ryan Swartz Let’s hope that it isn’t moonlighting as thief or any criminal activity. HaHa. But seriously, our leaders would rather spend millions on projects that are no where near the projected cost and really just money moving schemes that they come up with to steal public funds, than to pay our military that kills and dies under the beliefs of the Constitution and the Freedom enough money to NOT have to get on welfare after spending a tour fighting the very enemy that is sitting in a public office when they get back. What a damn shame…

  6. Tricia Lee

    Why are they not terminated? If the UPS driver had stolen, they would have been. In case the public has forgotten, several postal employees were terminated and tried (most plead) and are felons now here in Hattiesburg and many in other states for stealing $5.00 Walmart gift cards. Stealing on most every job is grounds for termination. But, especially, in a job that holds public trust.

  7. Richard Scott Farris

    Native Hattiesburger Benjamin Morris has just published his brand new book: “Hattiesburg, Mississippi–A History of the Hub City” (History Publishing, 2014). It was 18 months in the making and features information and primary source insights via interviews with some 100 Hattiesburg residents and/or Hattiesburg natives. (Though nobody contacted me [or I wonder passionate local Historian Robb Cross?], so I hope Mr Morris was able to view the rare and out-of-print classic autobiography/biography “No Compromise With Principle–The Life & Times of William Harris Hardy and the Mississippi He Loved” [1947], written by our esteemed Founder–Captain William H Hardy–and his son Toney Hardy, because I have an original hardback copy signed by Captain Hardy & ‘Miss Hattie’s’ granddaughter and Toney’s daughter–Mary Hardy Cauley of Phoenix, Arizona. If he missed that very fine and unique book–he missed a key Primary Source of priceless info, and I’ll know if he did or didnt in 1 minute or less via the book index)…
    Either way, of course I welcome his effort and latest entry (among a number of other publications in this fascinating category dating back to Otis Robertson’s “Facts About Hattiesburg” published in 1898), and I hope to have a copy in hand for Christmas!…
    One new fact that even a Hattiesburg History enthusiast like me never knew is that apparently Hattiesburg was at one time known as “The Magic City” prior to becoming “The Hub City” on Thanksgiving Day 28 November 1912 (via the iconic electric 4-story”Hub Sign”)–which means that Hattieburg must have been known by that “nickname” “Magic City” sometime from March 1884 [the date of Hattiesburg’s incorporation as a municipality of the State] to November 1912…
    Btw, Birmingham, Alabama has long been known as “The Magic City”, though a more recent book re the Life & Times of Birmingham labels it “The Tragic City”!…Which–in light of the the current crime-wave that has swept over our beloved Hub this year (an all-time new record of 12 homicides already this year alone!, ETC.), causes me to painfully re-think Hattiesburg’s revered moniker from “Hub CIty”–to “THUG CITY”! Welcome to THUG HUB baby!!! (In my opinion, largely thanks to Judge Sebe Dale [who 20+ years ago practically single-handedly enabled the more recent outrageous insanity and lawlessness to take root], and the likes of “Mayor” Johnny DuPree, “Rev” Ken Fairly, “Rev” Dennis Henderson, and HPD “Chiefs” Wynn and Fraizser Bolton, ET AL.)…
    And as near & dear as our once-so-special City of Hattiesburg was and still is to me, the most beloved Property on Earth for me is our dear old Southern Miss! [The University of Southern Mississippi] If you dont think this deplorable and dangerous crime-wave is not crucially damaging in the short AND long-term to USM and a Primary Cause of its Student Enrollment decline–you are NOT accurately thinking! God Help Hattiesburg!!! God Save Southern Miss!!!

  8. John Baker

    who is on the Civil Service Board? What do they think of this because they have to approve these promotions first. So you mean to tell me they will look past all of this and still promote? We need to know who is on this Board!!!!!

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