And Now You Know the Rest of the Story

On Monday Jackson County’s Board of Supervisors approved a multi-million dollar corporate welfare package for Chevron, the county’s third largest company. The decision was met with much criticism from the public as it was approved just weeks before a new board is sworn in. Also troubling was the complete lack of discussion on the item. Supervisor Melton Harris admitted to speaking to other supervisors about the measure, but not in such a way to flout open meetings laws.

At the time, Supervisor Barry Cumbest told the Sun Herald’s Karen Nelson “We’re just doing it today, no particular reason. It can be done this year or next year, either one. We decided to go ahead and do it.” Knowing all the facts, it does seem that the board had a “particular reason.” Continue reading

Federal Judge Questions Hilburn’s Fairness, Quality

In a previous case, Judge Breland Hilburn’s handling of the case was lambasted by District Judge David Folsom. . Hilburn was overseeing the case of Wilson v. Scruggs in Hinds County Circuit Court where Roberts Wilson was suing Dick Scruggs over a fee dispute in asbestos litigation.

Wilson, feeling that he couldn’t get a fair shake by Hilburn, filed suit in federal court.  The Federal District Court agreed, finding some of the same hallmarks in the Singing River litigation:

This is a complex case and it does factor into Singing River. To quote the legendary commenter Nunn Yabidnez, who back in April opined,  “Mississippi is a fairly small legal pond, so there will be overlap, but this is getting a bit ridiculous.”

 

 

New Pension Plan Attorney Has Ties to Reeves & Mestayer

Trustee Steve Simpson has hired attorney Charles J. Mikhail to represent the interests of the pension trust in settlement negotiations. An order signed by Judge Breland Hilburn allows Simpson to hire Mikhail, who will be paid $225 per hour for his services.

Like many of the players involved, Mikhail appears to have conflicts which are tough to resolve. He is required to represent the interests of the pension trust and all of its members, yet his connections with certain plaintiffs counsel is unsettling.

Mikhail previously worked on tobacco litigation for Dick Scruggs. When Scruggs started shortchanging Mikhail on payments, Mikhail sued.  The lawyers he hired to sue Scruggs?  Jim Reeves and Matt Mestayer.

Cal Mayo, who is also suing Singing River, defended Scruggs in the suit.

Continue reading

Forthcoming on SRHS Watch: Certus Labs, Ethics Laws

Per the request of dozens of comments and e-mails SRHS Watch will be detailing information on Certus Labs. As with most of our investigations, we will be relying upon open sources.

We will also be detailing how the Mississippi Senate defanged the state’s ethics laws.  Certain liberty loving senators took away prosecutorial power from locally elected district attorneys and gave it solely to a panel of political appointees who conduct their proceedings in private. If you are aggrieved by the the panel’s decision you get to appeal to “one liberal Hinds County judge” and start the process de novo.

 

 

Opinion: Reeves on the Hunt for Pension Plan’s “Real Killers”

“We expect and anticipate doing a lot more discovery and a lot of investigating into other entities that had their hands in the business of the trust and we think owe the trust money.”

– Jim Reeves to WLOX’s Mike Lacey

 

A solid year after filing suit Jim Reeves now claims that there are some nebulous “entities” who might owe the pension plan money.  This seems to be in direct contradiction to Billy Guice’s statements and the report of the forensic accountants he retained. This also runs contrary to findings by the grand jury and FBI. Reeves has yet to amend any complaint, call any witnesses who might shed light on these allegations, or to file any subpoena seeking documents from those alleged to wrongly hold pension funds.

It seems Reeves isn’t really interested in pursuing those alleged pension-snatchers until after Singing River settles.  It evokes the spirit of J. Wellington Wimpy’s famous “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.”  Reeves seems to be telling the world, much like OJ Simpson, that he will only go after “the real killers” once he clears Singing River out of the way.  All for the fire sale price of $6 million.

You have to wonder why Singing River and Steve Simpson aren’t already doing this digging.  If there truly are other parties who owe the pension trust, wouldn’t that money reduce the burden of the hospital’s settlement?  Would it not reduce the proposed $13 million to be paid by the taxpayers of Jackson County? Would it not aid Singing River’s arguments of ignorance and innocence if they were ripped-off by some greedy Wall Street bankers?

Why would Jackson County and Singing River pay more than their share of the missing funds if there were truly others who owed the pension money?

In this statement Simpson seems to be making Denham’s argument and destroying his own: all of the facts are not in.

This makes absolutely no sense.

Reeves has previously called the settlement a “done deal” despite the protestations of Billy Guice and contraindications of Kevin Holland. You might wonder if Reeves was making an attempt to influence the putative class with his statements.  You might wonder if he was attempting to discourage those who might think they have a true shot at justice, answers, and accountability and are likely to opt out of his proposed settlement. You might wonder why Reeves would make such extrajudicial statements even after Judge Guirola restricted those before him from doing so.

You might wonder why Singing River’s attorneys aren’t objecting to Reeves’ extrajudicial statements as they did to those of Dustin Thomas.

That is, you might wonder, if only the wool weren’t covering your eyes.