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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Mississippi

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, June 17, 2022

Former Chancery Clerk Sentenced for Civil Rights Violation

Jackson, Miss.- Tommy Joe Harvey, the former Chancery Clerk of Simpson County, was sentenced to 2 years’ probation and a $5,000 fine for depriving a person of their civil rights under color of law, announced U.S. Attorney Darren J. LaMarca and Special Agent in Charge Jermicha Fomby of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Jackson Field Office.

Tommy Joe Harvey, 74, was the Simpson County Chancery Clerk from 2004 through May 31, 2022.  According to court documents, on April 28, 2017, A.R. was in court for a child custody hearing. During the hearing, A.R. became upset and left the courtroom before the hearing was over. A.R. was ordered back to the courtroom. Tommy Joe Harvey overheard the disruption. Moments later, Harvey found A.R. in her vehicle which was parked across the street. Harvey told one of his employees to bring him a can of pepper spray from inside his office. Harvey told A.R. to compose herself and not drive away or she would be pepper sprayed. Harvey pepper sprayed her while she was trying to drive away. Harvey then told two Simpson County Sheriff’s Deputies to handcuff A.R. After she was handcuffed, and while being escorted to the courthouse by the deputies, Harvey pepper sprayed A.R. several more times.  

Harvey pled guilty on February 23, 2022, to deprivation of civil rights under color of law.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jessica Terrill and Deputy Criminal Chief Erin Chalk.

Updated June 17, 2022