Promotions Taken Away from Two MPD Officers

By: Lindsey Brown Email
By: Lindsey Brown Email

Meridian Mayor Cheri Barry Thursday confirmed that two Meridian police officers have been demoted.

The recent promotions of Jeff Lewis and Dean Harper were rescinded by the Barry administration Wednesday.

The promotions were approved in the last days of Mayor John Robert Smith's term. Earlier this month, Barry said she was evaluating the positions and was considering the demotions.

"I felt like, because they were appointed in the last eleven days of the administration, that I wanted an opportunity to look at those positions, look at them, and make sure we have the best men to take care of the people of Meridian."

Before being demoted, Lewis was serving as assistant police chief and Harper was serving as commander of operations. They now return to their previous positions.


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  • by Nosey1 Location: Outside looking in on Sep 3, 2009 at 08:31 AM
    Look, most missed my two major points. Jeff, I was not trying to offend you or your family. My first point was that the JRS administration did that TO you when they handled business in that manner. I didn't say that you were aware of it. I am sure there was much that went on "behind closed doors" that you and the public was not aware of. My second point was to the appointments at the PD vs the appointments that were open on the school board. I don't understand why the PD was so important to appoint within the last 11 days of JRS but the schools were not. They have been WAY OVERDUE for an appointment and the schools are a mess but there was no help given to the board by the way of new appointments from the JRS administration at all.
  • by Anonymous on Aug 31, 2009 at 08:17 AM
    The intelligence of Meridian is showing. Justice Department? What A Laugh! They have lost nothing. There is a 6 month probationary period in which time the promotions can be rescinded. Nothing lost, nothing gained. Calm down, there is a new mayor in town. Oh, and she is qualified to be mayor just like any other candidate. Again, if these guys are confident they were the best chosen, what hurts to test again? The only thing I pray is that a fair, objective test be provided for all qualified applicants. That will raise morale more than anything. Hello Jeff, nice to see you!
  • by Not Surprised on Aug 30, 2009 at 03:24 PM
    Cheri Barry had no prior work experience to prepare her for the job of Mayor. This lack of experience will certainly show in other ways during the time she is our city's "chief administrator." I was deeply disappointed when she was elected and it seems now some who voted for her are disappointed by her actions towards Officers Harper and Lewis. For the record, I did not support Percy Bland either. In fact, in my view, none of the candidates in the last election had the proper experience for the Mayor's job. Lewis and Harper should contact the Justice Department or private attorneys and prepare to file a lawsuit against the City of Meridian!!! They were treated unfairly and certainly did not deserve the public humiliation visited on them by "Madame Mayor."
  • by Jeff Lewis Location: Meridian on Aug 29, 2009 at 08:38 PM
    Anonymous, I have not lost my temper and will not. If you were in my shoes what would you do. I let my record stand for itself and I do not lose control in deadly situations. I have seen more than the average human should or would ever want to see in my career and my point to nosey1 is please check your facts before you air them. My point is simple I have a family just like most and they do not deserve this either. I have done nothing wrong and will continue to do the job I do with integrity and pride. As I stated I am not angry just want the facts straight and accurate. That is not much to ask.
  • by Mac Location: Meridian on Aug 29, 2009 at 12:02 PM
    If there was indeed no proper civil service test given for these positions then the Mayor is well with her right to do what she has done. If these are indeed the best men for the job then the retesting process should bare that out. Good job Mayor, this is why I voted you in.
  • by Anonymous on Aug 29, 2009 at 08:55 AM
    Leigh, what Harper did was ignore a court order. I don't care why. I know he did not like the guy getting out on his own recog, and maybe that could have been addressed through the proper channels, but the law has to be followed. No, that type of mind does not need to be in a leadership position. Now we have Jeff Lewis loosing his temper. Does he not know he is a public official subject to criticism in places like this? Is this what we want in a leadership position within the police department? I would hate to know either of these guys were the authority on a deadly use of force situation, especially when the suspect may be a lawyer or someone who criticized them. MAYOR BARRY MADE THE RIGHT DECISION. THE PROOF IS IN THE RECORD.
  • by Jeff Lewis Location: Meridian on Aug 28, 2009 at 11:12 PM
    Nosey1 I will not hide behind a screen name and I am very tired of you bashing. You have no clue what you are talking about and if you want to know something ask me I will be glad to tell you. I am glad you know all of the facts and you are clueless. I have tried to stay quiet and not say anything but I will not stand by and have my character bashed by you or anyone else. I am very proud of my career and being a city employee. As I stated before if you want to know something ask I have nothing to hide and I would suggest checking your source's information for facts and not lies. Check your facts written tests haven't been given for Lieutenant and above for at least three years.
  • by sl20 Location: Meridian on Aug 28, 2009 at 10:58 PM
    Nosey1 you are an idiot and have no clue as to what you say. If you know so much you should be in office but it is apparent that you haven't a clue. No there was not a written test any promotion above the rank of Sergeant. Now the second fact is Harper did not pass the Asst. Chief test. No Lewis was second in points on the oral exam. What other facts do you need given to you before you show your true lack of knowledge. Oh excuse me you know it all.
  • by concerned Location: Meridian on Aug 28, 2009 at 07:59 PM
    Leigh If you are sick of Meridian why don't u leave? Oh! Take Harper with u!!!!
  • by Nosey1 Location: Outside looking in on Aug 28, 2009 at 03:27 PM
    One more thing that I just don't understand. The city schools systems seem to be in such a mess. Why did the JRS administration not feel that it was important to appoint new school board members before they left office but did find time to move Lewis and Harper with 11 days left?? Something just doesn't seem right about that. The schools really could have used that time to work on your schools. Those apopintments were and are very important.
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