Former Mississippi deputy cleared of charges he threatened sheriff

Published 7:02 am Thursday, September 10, 2020

Criminal charges have been dropped against a former Mississippi deputy sheriff, who was accused of falsifying time cards and threatening the sheriff.

The indictments against former Lee County deputy sheriff Mike Mayhew were dropped Tuesday with prejudice, The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reported.

Mayhew’s lawyer Victor Fleitas said the charges were a “purely personal and political prosecution” by Lee County Sheriff Jim Johnson.

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Fleitas also said that Attorney General Lynn Fitch’s office dropped the charges because the case “lacked prosecutable merit.”

Mayhew worked for the sheriff’s office for a decade.

He was forced to resign from the department in 2017 after being charged with submitting false documents. Johnson previously said Mayhew defrauded the department several thousand dollars by submitting fake time cards.

Mayhew was charged with threatening Johnson last year. Mayhew told another deputy that Johnson deserved a “whipping” after Johnson told state officials that Mayhew submitted timesheets for work he didn’t do.

The state considered the statement as a threat and filed charges.

Mayhew said he was exercising his right to free speech.