Hinds County District 2 Supervisor David Archie maintains that it is actually Board President Credell Calhoun who is the real disrupter of county business because he refuses to follow proper protocol. Archie alleges his ousting as Vice President of the Board was illegal, and he plans to challenge it in court.
“When it comes to the politics of the President and Vice President, that rule is pretty simple. Our charter doesn’t say anything about removing a Vice President in the middle of year,” he said. “Credell Calhoun has decided that he doesn’t want me to be President and he thinks it only takes three votes to accomplish that. No, it takes a lot more.”
Calhoun says that Archie has a real problem trying to figure out how the county is supposed to run. He says the proper rule of order was followed and that legal action will not change the fact that he’s no longer Vice President.
“He’s a hallucinator. All I’m trying to do is improve the county,” Calhoun said. “No money is being misspent in my office. If he doesn’t understand that, I’m sorry.”
The offices of President and Vice president are chosen at the beginning of the four-year term. The second year in office, the Vice President takes over the presidency. Archie says that Calhoun is looking to control the purse strings on millions of dollars that will soon hit their account.
“We’ve got 22 million dollars that is already in our account. We’ve got 25 million dollars that will be coming in January and early February. Supervisor Calhoun wants to get his hands on that money. This is what I believe,” he said. “In the last 5 or 6 months, chaos has taken place. Not because of David Archie but because of Calhoun not being able to respect the opinions of others.”
Archie and Calhoun’s relationship was not always this combative. Things changed in May of this year when Archie accused Calhoun of moving State Aid Road funds out of his district and giving it to other districts. Calhoun disputes that claim, stating that initially 100% of the funds were given to Archie and District 2. The Board later came back and took 50% of those funds and spread them around to other districts. A move he says was the right thing to do.
“If you’re going to get mad and raise hell about that then you have a problem,” Calhoun said. “He fell out with me because of that? We were supposed to spread it around evenly in the first place.”
District 4 Supervisor Vern Gavin has also been a target of Archie’s gripes. He says the turn of events has been unfortunate, but the disruption is only due to Archie wanting things done his way instead of working in collaboration with the entire Board.
“This stems from him being removed as Vice President because it effectively ends his chances of ascending to the presidency due to the way our charter is set up. He is having a problem accepting that,” Gavin said. “We have a lot of stuff we have to do in Hinds County, and in my summation, name calling and pettiness should not be a part of our agenda.”
Archie has recently made headlines in the news and on social media for his outbursts during Board meetings. In May 2021, there were frequent accounts of name calling, including a time when Archie called Supervisor Gavin a “bald-headed sissy” before walking out of a meeting due to a dispute on how some State Aid Road funds were spent. In July, he shut down two meetings in a row by banging a makeshift gavel continuously until the meetings were forcibly adjourned. In a September 29th meeting, Archie called Calhoun a “40-year criminal” and called Gavin and District 5 Supervisor Bobby “Bobcat” McGowan “dummies” after they voted to remove him as Vice President. The next day, in a special meeting, Archie was arrested and forcibly removed after he refused to allow Calhoun to continue the meeting. Archie was charged with disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace, destruction of county property, and resisting arrest, but Interim Hinds County Sheriff, Marshand Crisler, decided not to book him.
“It’s not personal. No person is above the law,” Crisler said. “If any citizen goes in there and does that same thing, they’re going to be arrested.”
Archie accuses Calhoun of having a history of sketchy dealing while he held public office in other positions. He cites this as reason enough to suspect that corruption could take place. He also accuses Calhoun of misspending money, hiring family members, and firing a public works director without cause. However, as of this writing, Archie has not yet produced evidence to that fact. Gavin says at the surface, Archie’s accusations appear to be unfounded.
“If you notice his pattern, he throws out a lot of innuendo without substance or facts. That, in my summation, simply makes them soundbites,” Gavin said. “He’s expecting those people who are less informed to bite on stuff like this.”
Archie says that his hope is that the courts will rule in his favor and the Board can get back to taking care of Hinds County’s business.
“This is almost unheard of. This is not an everyday practice,” he said. “If regular board members can just come in and remove someone from a body that would be happening all over the city and county. It just doesn’t happen like that.”