Attorney general urges sheriffs to mentor youth
JUST MINGLING State Attorney General Mike Moore, left, mingles with Lincoln County Sheriff Lynn Boyte, Lawrence County Sheriff Joel Thames and Lauderdale County Sheriff Billy Sollie on Thursday before a banquet marking the end of the winter conference of the Mississippi Sheriffs Association. The conference was at the Howard Johnson Inn. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By William F. West / community editor
Nov. 15, 2002
State Attorney General Mike Moore told a gathering of Mississippi sheriffs and their wives Thursday that county lawmen should do what they can to help mentor troubled youngsters.
Moore, in addition to being the state's chief law enforcement officer, is a leader in Big Brothers Big Sisters a national mentoring program.
Moore was the main speaker at a banquet marking the end of the winter conference of the Mississippi Sheriffs Association in Meridian. He spoke to about 50 people at the Howard Johnson Inn.
The attorney general said mentoring takes a personal commitment but produces results. As an example, he told how Lauderdale County Sheriff Billy Sollie became a mentor to a boy.
Moore, walking over and placing his hands on Sollie's shoulders, smiled and said: "Billy is kind of the maximum law enforcement guy. You all notice that? He kind of likes to poke his chest out and tell how much weight he can lift and all this kind of thing."
Moore said Sollie ended up mentoring a boy who sported three earrings and multi-colored hair.
Sollie also sports short hair.
Moore said he asked Sollie whether he made the boy get a haircut and Sollie said no.
Moore said Sollie told him the boy got the haircut because "he wanted to be like me."
Moore said Sollie also told him, "You know, I think I'm the only friend he's got."
In other comments, Moore talked about the U.S. Supreme Court's refusal this week to hear Mississippi's arguments in favor of strict campaign finance disclosure.
A federal appeals court has said the U.S. Chamber of Commerce didn't have to disclose the cost of its advertisements in Mississippi because the ads didn't use specific words like "elect" or "vote for."
Moore said he believes the U.S. high court's decision not to hear Mississippi's case could open elections to financing by those opposed to honest lawmen.