Southaven alderman, Memphis firefighter arrested for hiring prostitutes

Ronald Hale (Source: City of Southaven)
Ronald Hale (Source: City of Southaven)

SOUTHAVEN, MS (WMC) - DeSoto County Sheriff's Department arrested a Southaven alderman for hiring prostitutes.

Ronald Hale, 57, who represents Ward 2 in DeSoto County and works as a Memphis firefighter, was arrested and later released on $5,000 bond.

DeSoto County investigators are being tight-lipped about the circumstances of the arrest, but making it clear the case is about more than the hiring of a prostitute.

The accusations against Hale have many Southaven residents shocked.

"You think people should be following you and instead you doing the bad things," 15-year Southaven resident Paul Cooper said. "I think if he's found guilty he should be fired."

Southaven Mayor Darren Musselwhite released a statement saying:

"While this is obviously very concerning to me, it is a personal legal matter for Alderman Hale with an ongoing investigation by the DeSoto County Sheriff's Department.  It is not appropriate for me to make any further comment until the investigation and judicial process has been completed."

Meanwhile, other Southaven residents are vocal, saying having leaders abuse power is frustrating.

"Greg Davis, his deal and all that stuff, I mean, nobody ever goes to jail for nothing," a Southaven resident said.

Hale was an alderman during the time former Southaven Mayor Greg Davis went to trial for felony fraud and embezzlement.

According to the City of Southaven website, Hale, who was raised in Southaven and spent almost 25 years as a firefighter with the Memphis Fire Department, was re-elected alderman in 2016.

DeSoto County Sheriff Bill Rasco said Hale was stopped as he drove in the Stateline area around 7:30 in the morning. Memphis fire investigators said his shift ended 30 minutes earlier. Rasco said the arrest came after an ongoing investigation.

Hale, who works out of Fire Station 45 on South Third, was relieved of duty as a firefighter pending the outcome of the investigation, officials said.

WMC Action News 5 reached out to his fellow aldermen, and did not receive a comment.

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