Hancock County

Bay St. Louis, former police chief settle lawsuit over his firing

The city of Bay St. Louis and former interim police chief Matt Issman on Tuesday reached a settlement agreement for an undisclosed amount.

In February 2018, Issman filed a complaint against Mayor Mike Favre and the city of Bay St. Louis for “retaliatory discharge and wrongful termination.”

Favre appointed Issman on Sept. 12, 2017, as interim chief after the resignation of former police chief Daren Freeman.

On Sept. 26, Favre removed Issman as both police chief and as a city employee.

According to the complaint, which was filed in Hancock County Circuit Court, “Mayor Favre terminated Mr. Issman as a retaliatory action because Mr. Issman refused to allow Mayor Favre to direct the actions of the Bay St. Louis Police Department contrary to Mississippi law.”

City attorney Heather Smith said Wednesday the city’s insurance company, Mississippi Municipal Service Company, handled the matter and that the settlement amount is confidential. The amount will be paid by the city’s liability insurance.

Issman said he signed a non-disclosure agreement about the dollar amount.

He added that he is of the opinion that the “citizens should know what the city is spending.”