Commonwealth Journal

News Live

May 21, 2014

Moss is new jailer; Harris finishes fifth

Somerset —

Ferguson Police Chief David Moss emerged Tuesday from a crowded field of candidates in the primary election to succeed embattled jailer Mike Harris.
“I’m just so overwhelmed,” Moss said on Tuesday evening. “It was too much all at once ... a really great feeling.”
Moss garnered 3,032 votes in Tuesday’s primary election (or around 20.79 percent of the total votes), only 29 more votes than runner-up Jeff R. Burton, who brought in 3,003 votes.
School resource officer and retired Somerset detective Anthony McCollum brought in 2,568 votes, and Pulaski County Sheriff’s Deputy Rodney Stevens pulled in 2,559 votes. 
Harris received 1,133 votes, or only 7.77 percent of the total votes. Local businessman Gary Ed Cromer garnered 976 votes, Michael Hall received 614 votes, Burnside Fire Chief Eric Henderson brought in 405 votes and Rodney C. Baker finished with 296 votes. 
14,586 votes were cast Tuesday in the primary for jailer. 
Harris, who has served as Pulaski County Jailer since 2002, was recently the subject of two sexual harassment complaints brought by former Pulaski County Detention Center employees. Although only one of the complaints made it to federal court before a settlement was reached, both women received $137,500 as part of the agreement — amounting to $275,000.
And a third sexual harassment complaint appears to be on the horizon. 
Harris’ ongoing legal troubles may have helped Moss win in his second bid for jailer, but Moss is focused on his future as jailer, not on Harris’ past. 
“I’m looking forward to serving the people of Pulaski County,” he said, adding that his primary focus as jailer will be the implementation of drug rehab programs.
“One of the biggest problems we have ... is people being arrested for drugs, serving little time and then being put back on the streets without getting any help,” Moss said. “Without rehab, we’re not helping solve the problem.”

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