Ocean Springs alderman's bond set at $26,000 (updated 10:46 a.m.)

SUN HERALDNovember 30, 2011 

— Ocean Springs Alderman James Hagan's bond was set at a total of $26,000 on charges of touching of a child for lustful purposes and embezzlement.

County Court Judge T. Larry Wilson set Hagan's bond during his bail hearing this morning.

Hagan was arrested Tuesday at his Moss Point City Office, where sheriff's investigators seized four computers, including an Ocean Springs city laptop Hagan reported stolen a year ago, resulting in the embezzlement charge.

In the sex crime case, Hagan is accused of fondling a child under the age of 18 for lustful purposes.

City leaders responded with silence and disbelief Tuesday night when Sheriff Mike Byrd told them, in a private session, about the arrest of Alderman James Hagan.

Mayor Connie Moran said this morning that there was disappointment and shock among his fellow aldermen. Hagan was arrested Tuesday on charges of embezzlement and touching a child for lustful purposes.

"We're still processing it," Moran said. "I just feel like I've been hit by a truck. We're all just numb. He is a colleague and a friend. It's tragic." Moran said his wife, Kim, is her daughter's special education teacher at Ocean Springs High School.

Moran said that by law Hagan is allowed to keep his elected position until his case makes its way through the court system. The city is already facing a special election in February to replace Alderman at-large Troy Ross, who was elected to the Jackson County Board of Supervisors.

Hagan represents Ward 6, the largest ward in Ocean Springs. Moran said it's the northeast corner of the city, the fastest growing area. It includes subdivisions like Trentwood, Lakeview, Parktown and parts of Culeoka.

The Sheriff's Office handled the case instead of the Ocean Springs police, because it involved a city official, who is involved in overseeing the Police Department.

The Sun Herald updates this story in Thursday's edition.

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