Following in the footsteps of her predecessor, Attorney General Lynn Fitch will have satellite offices in both south and north Mississippi.
Fitch currently is seeking to lease space in Oxford in north Mississippi. According to Michelle Williams, Fitch’s chief of staff, the attorney general already has an office in Biloxi in south Mississippi.
“The Attorney General’s Office has multiple attorneys, investigators, and support staff that are currently spread out in a variety of locations in north Mississippi,” Williams said in a written response to questions. “We can create greater efficiencies and better workflows by giving them a central office, just as we already have in south Mississippi.”
Former Attorney General Jim Hood, who served four terms before running unsuccessfully for governor in 2019, opened satellite offices on the Gulf Coast and in his hometown of Houston — about 45 minutes southwest of Tupelo in northeast Mississippi.
When Hood opened the Houston office in 2013, he said he was moving his family back to his home county of Chickasaw and would work primarily out of that office while making trips to his main office in Jackson as needed.
For years, the state’s conservative media blistered Hood for opening the Houston office that he said he would use and would provide space for investigators who work in north Mississippi. The state paid $750 per month plus utilities for the Houston office.
According to the state Department of Finance and Administration website, Fitch is seeking office space of 4,424 square feet in Oxford. The DFA posting said the Oxford AG’s office is needed as a “secure evidence room to hold any confiscated or owned guns and ammunition.”
“Oxford is central and the location of the federal courthouse, FBI office, and law school,” Williams said. “The size of the space for which we are seeking bids is determined by a formula DFA (Finance and Administration) has created for overall space efficiency.”
Oxford is home to the University of Mississippi, where Fitch attended both undergraduate and law school, and is one of the most expensive real estate markets in the state. Oxford is about one hour north of Houston, one hour west of Tupelo, and 75 minutes southeast of Southaven.
Williams said the attorney general’s south Mississippi staff works out of the Bolton Building in Biloxi.