Simpson Donors Have Links to SRHS, Scandals

Reviewing the list of donors to Special Fiduciary Steve Simpson’s 2011 campaign for AG yielded some interesting names.

  • Franke & Salloum, attorneys for SRHS donated $1,000
  • Richard Salloum of Franke & Salloum donated $1,000
  • Ben Galloway of Owen, Galloway, & Myers, firm representing Roy Williams donated $250
  • Armin Moeller of Balch & Bingham, attorneys for Transamerica Retirement Systems donated $500
  • Eagle Express, LLC, owned by former SRHS trustee Morris Strickland donated $500

Of note:

  • Lumpkin & Reeves, PLLC donated $2,500 – this firm is the predecessor to Reeves & Mestayer. Jim Reeves represents one group of plaintiffs in SRHS litigation.

Recall Brett Williams statement to April Havens in the Mississippi Press, “Singing River Health System and certain plaintiff’s attorneys have agreed to an order governing the administration of the retirement plan and trust.” [Emphasis added]

Slabbed has more analysis of Simpson’s fitness as a fiduciary.

UPDATE: Simultaneous to this post’s publishing a commenter “Nursing the Blues” left the following on another post:

So I’m driving through downtown Goula this morning and see our trustee, Simpson, outside Dogan and Wilkinson chatting with Plaintiffs attorney, Reeves!!! Wonder why they’d all be there? Surely nothing shady…

Continue reading

McKay Endorses Williams

John McKay, having suffered a massive defeat in the August Republican primary, is now endorsing the independent candidate for District 5 Supervisor, Allen Williams.  This should be a clarion call to those who campaigned so hard against McKay and the incumbents. McKay is said to have hosted a fundraiser for Williams Monday night.

McKay is a long-time Republican who was supported by the Jackson County Republican establishment including Bill and Scott Walker and Joe Cloyd.  McKay was in such trouble during his mayoral race against Connie Moran that Governor Phil Bryant had to be called in for an endorsement. Now he claims that has never been a partisan.

McKay points to Williams’ support of tax breaks for the likes of Gentry Williams, Jim Estabrook, Chevron, and the Angolan state dictator-owned oil company, on the backs of Jackson County homeowners. McKay also notes that Troy Ross is facing losing his seat.

The endorsement of Williams struck some as odd given Williams comments on the night of McKay’s defeat: Continue reading

A Salute to Those Who Stand Up

What kind of a people do they think we are? Is it possible they do not realize that we shall never cease to persevere against them until they have been taught a lesson which they and the world will never forget.  Here we are together, facing a group of mighty foes who seek our ruin.  Here we are together defending all that, to free men, is dear.

Sir Winston Churchill’s 1942 “Masters of Our Fate” speech to Congress.

It was this day one year ago when two ladies stood up, spoke up, and refused to sit down. They carried their message to the media and word spread. Others have now joined their cause.

We salute those two ladies who stood up and refused to shut up. We salute those who joined in by filing suit, picketing, speaking out and raising awareness.  We also salute those “certain plaintiffs’ attorneys” who seek not spoils and plunder, but are diligent in their work for truth and justice.

Singletary Should Disclose Potential Conflicts

A judge should disclose on the record information that the judge believes the parties or their lawyers might consider relevant to the question of disqualification, even if the judge believes there is no real basis for disqualification.

Commentary on Code of Judicial Conduct Canon 3(E)(1)

 

Minutes of the Mississippi Gaming Commission, May 17, 2007

 

Should this information have been disclosed to parties and lawyers? Special Master Britt Singletary long represented the IP and during such time that defendant Lee Bond was an executive.

All those involved in a judicial capacity should honor the letter and the spirit of the Code of Judicial Conduct and disclose any and all potential conflicts of interest.

Is Simpson Qualified to Oversee Pension?

SRHS Watch is working on a thorough profile of newly appointed Special Fiduciary Steve Simpson. Simpson is a Gulfport attorney who previously ran for attorney general. During his run for office, reporting by the Clarion Ledger revealed that nearly $5,760 in property taxes had gone unpaid on Simpson’s $378,000 home.

Simpson explained that he re-financed the home and was unaware that he would be responsible for paying the tax collector and was hit with a surprise bill.

This alone, in our estimation, is enough to disqualify Simpson as holding any position of fiduciary responsibility.

The “reasonable man” leaves the closing table with an understanding of to whom he owes mortgage payments and his duties to pay taxes and property insurance and in which manner.

Simpson, a lawyer, by his own admission, had not the diligence to understand a common financial transaction that would affect his personal and family finances.

SRHS, Judge Hilburn, Special Master Singletary and “certain plaintiffs’ attorneys” expect the retirement plan members to trust Simpson to oversee the complexities of a $140 million pension plan, when he literally cannot keep his own financial house in order.

Steve Simpson Satisfies Debt to Remove Tax Lien

Simpson Pays Back Taxes

UPDATE: It appears Simpson’s property taxes are currently in arrears.  The tax collector’s records can be seen here.

A Preview

Fear not loyal readers of SRHS Watch.  As our friend over at  Slabbed  has noted before, “when a muckraker is quiet it means they are up to something.”

We leave you with this morsel upon which to whet your appetite:

“When you have a conspiracy, everyone is tied to the conspiracy. Those who come early. Those who come late.”

-Richard Scruggs to U.S. District Judge Kathleen O’Malley in Ruth v. A.O. Smith Corp.

 

Who Represents Your Governments in Court?

Editor’s Note: It is time we examine those who we allow to represent our local governments. Dogan & Wilkinson has represented the Jackson County Board of Supervisors, Cities of Moss Point, Pascagoula, Ocean Springs, and Gautier, and currently represents Singing River Health System. The events of this two-part story take place before Roy & Brett Williams left their old firm and joined with Dogan & Wilkinson, bringing SRHS as a client.

If you were watching the Republican debate a few weeks ago, you saw the topic of vaccines and autism take center stage. Such was the case at Dogan & Wilkinson way back at the turn of the millennium.

In March of 2001, the Dallas based Waters & Kraus announced they were filing suit against Abbott Laboratories.  They alleged that mercury in vaccines was causing childhood autism. As is usual in these cases, Waters & Kraus recruited other law firms to assist in litigation. One of those firms was Dogan & Wilkinson. Continue reading

Details of Settlement Proposal Emerge

Two weeks ago Special Master Britt Singletary told retirees “very shortly, there’ll be an announcement and it will be 100 percent.”  Details about the proposed settlement are now coming to light and the proposal is very similar to the one Singing River made in January for 88% funding.

Singing River Health System, Jackson County, and one group of plaintiffs are proposing a settlement that could affect all pension plan participants. The proposal is for Singing River to contribute $138 million, Jackson County to contribute $13 million, and plaintiffs’ attorneys to be compensated nearly $6.5 million. There is no provision for “100 percent” funding or for how payments should be fairly distributed among retirees. Such decisions would be handled between the plan trustee and the chancery court.

Both sides are asking the federal judge to certify that just a few plaintiffs are allowed to represent the interests of all plan members. The implementation and oversight of the settlement would then be handed over to the Jackson County Chancery Court. The settlement proposal leaves open the possibility for reductions of pension payments and for termination of the plan. This would be subject to approval of the chancery court.

The proposal also calls for the creation of a four member oversight authority to oversee the operations and management of the health system. Authority members would be appointed by a Jackson County Chancery Court judge.

Singing River has agreed to contribute $138 million spread out over 35 years:

  • No contribution in 2015
  • $1.2 million from 2016-2019
  • $3 million from 2020-2023
  • $4.5 million from 2024-2051

Jackson County will contribution $13 million over eight years:

  • $2 million upon settlement
  • $3.2 million in 2016
  • $1.2 million 2017-2023

Plaintiffs’ attorneys would be compensated $6.45 million over three years:

  • $3.45 million in 2016
  • $1.5 million in 2017 & 2018

 


Read more here: http://www.sunherald.com/news/special-reports/singing-river-health-system/article37517091.html#storylink=cpy