Itawamba County has a new prosecuting attorney.
During their most recent meeting, the Itawamba County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to hire Fulton resident Chip Mills as the county prosecutor, beginning Jan. 1.
Mills replaces Fulton attorney Ray O’Neal, who has accepted a position at the Mississippi District Attorney’s office. O’Neal notified the board via letter that he would be resigning by the end of the year.
O’Neal has been the county’s prosecuting attorney since 1996.
The appointment will stand for at least 120 days, after which the county can hold a special election for the position. However, whether or not that happens is dependent upon finding someone who is both qualified and wants to run.
If no candidates qualify, the position will remain Mills’.
“I plan to make you proud,” Mills told the board after being appointed. “I will always do the best I can.”
Mills is a 2002 Itawamba Agricultural High School graduate. He earned a B.A. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Mississippi in 2006, followed by his Juris Doctorate in 2009.
Mills has nearly three years experience as an assistant district attorney with the 1st Circuit Court Judicial District and has extensive trial experience, including three murder trial convictions.
He said he’s looking forward to serving Itawamba County from the same office as his father, Chief Judge Michael P. Mills, who founded his law office with O’Neal in the early 1990s.
“I feel fortunate and sincerely appreciate the appointment and support I received from the Itawamba County Board of Supervisors,” Mills said. “I will certainly enjoy serving the fine men, women and children of the county I dearly call home.
“I also look forward to working with the justice court judges and law enforcement of Itawamba County as I intend to treat everyone involved in Justice Court criminal proceedings with dignity and respect,” he added.