Lee D. Thames Jr., Vicksburg’s city attorney, said Thursday that city officials were “blindsided” by Winfield’s arrest and declined to comment because he said he didn’t know the specific charges against the mayor.
Thames said he didn’t know who would represent Winfield in the criminal case.
Winfield is completing his first term as mayor of the historic Mississippi River city, the site of a pivotal Civil War battle. Winfield recently qualified to seek re-election.
Winfield also is the subject of a sexual harassment lawsuit from a former city employee.
In that lawsuit, the former employee said she had a consensual sexual relationship with the mayor but ended it when he became “physically abusive,” according to the complaint filed Feb. 1, 2012.
She said the mayor continued to make unwanted sexual advances and offered to pay her overtime that she had not earned. The lawsuit alleges Winfield retaliated when he was rejected by eliminating her position as chief of staff.
Winfield has denied the allegations.
The lawsuit is scheduled to go to trial Feb. 10, 2014, before U.S. District Judge David C. Bramlette.
Winfield, a lawyer, was a partner in the firm Winfield and Moran before becoming mayor. He also served a brief time as municipal judge in Port Gibson, where he later worked as the attorney for the city. He also had served as the lawyer for the Warren County Board of Supervisors.