A Southaven alderman has resigned his post amid new charges of having child pornography in his possession, in addition to earlier charges of procuring prostitution services.
Ward 2 Alderman Ronnie Hale Wednesday informed Mayor Darren Musselwhite that he was resigning his elected position immediately.
Hale's resignation came after his appearance in U.S. District Court in Oxford on one felony count of transporting child pornography.
He was released on bond and resigned shortly after his court appearance.
The felony pornography charge carries with it up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Court information stated that Hale is charged with knowingly transporting into Mississippi from Tennessee "visual depictions of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct." The images are said to be computer files and videos.
"Alderman Ronnie Hale informed me today of his intent to resign from his position as Ward 2 Alderman with the City of Southaven immediately," Musselwhite said in a news release. "A resolution declaring vacancy will be presented at the Jan. 2, 2018 board meeting followed by a special election per Mississippi Election Code 30-45 days later. The City will move as quickly as allowed by state law to restore representation to the constituents of Ward 2."
Hale, 57, was elected to the Southaven Board of Alderman in 2016 to represent Ward 2. It was his second stint on the Board of Aldermen, having also been elected initially in 2009.
Anthony Farese is representing Hale on the prostitution and pornography charges.
Bob Bakken is Staff Writer and may be reached at 662-429-6397 ext. 240.