UPDATE: MUW fires new campus police chief

COLUMBUS – Officials at Mississippi University for Women have fired new campus police chief John Harris, who had only been on the job since April 20.

Harris also serves as a city councilman in Meridian, where he currently is running for re-election.

Harris was informed by the university he would have to move to Columbus permanently as a condition of his hiring. However, state law requires municipal representatives live in the political area they represent.

MUW would not comment on the specific reason Harris was let go. Perry Sansing, assistant to the president and chief counsel, had said it would be close to impossible for Harris effectively to serve both MUW and Meridian.

Harris said his re-election campaign was never a problem until a few days after he was hired, when someone contacted MUW asking questions about his employment.

Harris said he believes it was a bullying tactic to get him to remove his name from the ballot and Harris says he wasn’t going to give in.

“He (Sansing) wanted me to say that I was going to get out of the race. But that was never an issue at the beginning, that was never in my contract, there was never anything said … that I had to get out of the race because they knew I was in the race when they hired me,” said Harris.

The Associated Press

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