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April 11, 2008




(JACKSON, Mississippi) – Governor Haley Barbour today announced his appointment of Circuit Court Judge Stephen B. Simpson of Gulfport as Commissioner of the Mississippi Department of Public Safety.


“Judge Simpson has an impressive blend of prosecutorial, judicial and correctional experience that will serve him well as Commissioner of Public Safety. He is an outstanding Mississippian. I appreciate his willingness to accept this new challenge and lead dedicated men and women whose service is so vital to the people of our state,” Governor Barbour said.


The Department of Public Safety includes the Mississippi Highway Patrol, Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, Mississippi Bureau of Investigation, Mississippi Office of Homeland Security, the state Crime Lab, Criminal Information Center, Law Enforcement Officers Training Academy, Mississippi Medical Examiner, and Public Safety Planning. The department has a total of about 1,150 employees.


Simpson, 49, has served as a Circuit Court Judge in Mississippi’s Second Circuit Court District serving Harrison, Hancock and Stone counties since 2000. A graduate of Gulf Coast Community College, he holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a master’s degree in education from Delta State University; he earned his juris doctorate from the University of Mississippi School of Law in 1988.


He has worked as a probation and parole officer for the Mississippi Department of Corrections, in private law practice and was an assistant district attorney in the Second Circuit Court District for seven years before his elevation to the bench in December 2002.


Simpson and his wife, Elizabeth Bost Simpson, have three daughters, Erin, Kameron and Britton; the family lives in Gulfport.


Governor Barbour said he would submit Simpson’s name to the Mississippi Senate in hopes of confirmation before the current legislative session ends.