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.

13 thoughts on “Is Simpson Qualified to Oversee Pension?

  1. Holy cow, good gosh, just plain ole damn!!!

    Dear Grandpa ( and all other SRHS employees—current and retired); you ask what can I do?

    For starters, you might ask yourself is this continuing pickets producing meaningful results? Has SRHS management changed its way of dealing with any employee issues? Has the Jackson County BOS changed its way of dealing with the issue at hand? While out there picketing, have you had fiduciary experts helping you to understand the financial and fiduciary complications of pension plans so that you can be competent in your own retirement planning? From reading comments at this blog, SRHS Hopes blog, and others, this reader feels you are expending a lot of energy with very little results. As Einstein once explained: “if you repeat the same thing over and over, and expect different results—isn’t that the definition of insanity? So, are you happy with your results?

    If not, consider:

    1.) have you researched the web page cited in prior post (Campisi or similar fiduciary attorneys)? Have you called? (415-421-0288) They thrive on dealing with dishonest trustees.

    2.) Why not move the peaceful picketing to (literally) the front doors of Judge Hilburn, Special Master Singletary, and your so called trustee Simpson. They are making your lives miserable 24 hours a day. Why not reciprocate?

    3.) why not find the current owner of the property tax lien holder (Christiana Trust as Custodian); buy it from them; hold a news conference; and ask—how can this be? A trustee who can’t manage his own financial affair is appointed by a judge to manage ours? What a news story.

    4.) As stated in previous post, why not file for immediate removal of trustee for failure to perform fiduciary obligations?

    5.) Or, you can continue your two hour vigils and just talk about it. Imagine what all affiliated employees could come up with. (Hint: be careful with this recent conversation about 100%funding!! 100% of what?? The minuscule contribution amounts that have been in recent years not even made? Or, the 100% actuarial sound amount necessary to make the plan sustainable? Or, some other 100% number (remember figures don’t lie, but liars sure do figure).

    6.) Mr Grandpa, maybe you can wake everybody up from their daze. Good luck.

      • Thank you Mr/Mrs SRHS Watch.

        Here is another thought: Since part of the reason stated by SRHS for their failure to fully fund the actuarial required minimum annual contributions, was their diversion of hospital monetary assets to “buy” other facilities and medical practices; why hasn’t someone placed a lien against these assets for the benefit of the pension plan?

        • This one is a quick one to answer… because until the courts recently ruled otherwise, SRHS was holding that payments to the pension were not a debt or even an obligation. That prevented anyone from putting a lien against the hospital for those monies. Even now I am not sure that the retirees could do that based on the quasi-public status of SRHS… but before now it was certainly not possible.

        • I’m not an attorney, but your premise might not be correct. I believe SRHS touted that they maintained a “qualified” employee benefit pension plan. There are a lot of tax consequences that follow that statement. Certainly early distributions have been rolled over into tax deferred IRA’s. So, let’s open that can of worms about the tax consequences of being a non “qualified” plan. Assuming it is a “qualified” plan, they probably have an obligation to meet minimum funding standards. Certainly this issue is unsettled enough, so that one could stand a reasonable expectation for a successful lien claim.

    • I like the creative solutions but I guarantee that the picketing has had results. Without the continuous public pressure, two out of four of the BOS wouldn’t have lost their seats. And forcing Barry Cumbest into a runoff was a perfect result… I was there the day that he cancelled public comments at the BOS meeting the day before the Primary… he looked like the cat who swallowed the canary. I have never seen a public official so openly smug in screwing over the public. He had a totally different demeanor when he found out how close he was to losing his seat… and that has carried over until now.

      So the answer to your question is: YES! The picketing and public pressure has definitely brought about a change to the way the Jackson County BOS deals with the issue at hand. The SRHS Board of Trustees has agreed to a settlement where they all resign. None of this would have been possible without the public presence of the picketers… too many people in the leadership of this county wanted to ignore the problem or sweep it under the rug.

      Now whether or not the pickets need to continue is another question… but just as in football it is hard to abandon a tactic when it it is working… at least until you reach the end zone.

      • Thank you Mr. Garrett. Your passion is evident. My only question is did the citizens vote out as a result of the picketing? Or from a more general awareness of the sleaze within the BOS? If you believe picketing to be effective, then more power to those fine individuals doing so.

        One shouldn’t place too much credence in the plot of the SRHS trustees resigning WITH no attached liability for their fraudulent actions. (I believe that’s their plan.) Perhaps the option of keeping them there and keeping them liable is a better one for the retirement plan.

        Also, to have new trustees appointed by the same clueless BOS is going to result in what? The entire SNAFU that is SRHS results from a board of trustees who believed they were there to support management, rather than to provide oversight to a management that is hired to implement Board of trustee’s policies. ( the classic failure scenario, whether a for profit organization or a non-profit)

        Finally, if change has really occurred in Jackson County, why don’t we see the District Attorney taking steps to seek restitution. That office certainly uses its full resources to prosecute petty larceny cases. Perhaps, the picket line needs to be moved there.

        Just some thoughts in support of your cause. Come to think of it, this cause for “fairness, justice, and good government” should be enthusiastically supported by all of Jackson County, not just you SRHS retired employees. Continuing success in the struggle.

        • I am afraid that you have me confused with someone else. I have no ties to SRHS whatsoever. I did run for District 3 Supervisor because I was asked to by people who thought that with my background in business management I could fix the problems there.

          As I told people during the campaign, in the Navy, when a ship runs aground, the Admiral instantly fires the Captain, the Navigator, and the Officer of the Deck. The Admiral doesn’t care who was more responsible or less responsible… they ALL have a responsibility to NOT run the ship aground. They ALL failed.

          Same goes here. But since nobody involved wanted to do the right thing (acknowledge their failure and resign) you have to do it in order. First the voters have to replace the BOS… which they basically did. Two of the five were replaced and the other three know that they have to do better or they will be gone next time. Do I think the BOS knew what was going on at SRHS? Nope. I have known McKay and Mangum for a while now and think they are both good guys who have done good work in the past for Jackson County. But in this instance they failed… and they failed Big Time. They needed to be replaced.

          Next comes a new BOT. Looks like that will happen now.

          I expect the new BOT will replace the hospital managers since they have no ties to them and won’t want to take on any of the blame that goes with this mess.

          Like the Admirals who just want to restore confidence in the leadership of their ships, I am not interested in the assignment of liability, blame, or retribution. I believe that fixing the pension problem at SRHS starts with restoring people’s faith in the leadership of SRHS. So ALL of the leadership has to go.

          Their have been a variety of problems in Jackson County’s governance over the years. Some big… some small. There are plenty of forces working in the backrooms of Jackson County to keep all manner of things hidden (you allude to the DA’s office and I agree that it is clear that Tony Lawrence wanted nothing to do with this matter at all). But without the steady presence and pressure of the picketers, this problem would have been lost in the shuffle and absolutely no change would have come to SRHS or Jackson County.

          • One of the disappointments of the primary round of elections was that District 3 was saturated with quality candidates while others were a wasteland. Thank you for continuing to take an interest and speak out.

  2. Grandpa, there is another election coming up. State auditor and attorney general are both up for re-election. Wonder if you called the Clarion Ledger, Sun Herald, or Emily Wagster Pettus and asking why these incumbent state officials are absent from Pascagoula? Hood and Pickering sure know how to get to the coast to hide documents in violation of a court order.

  3. Double holy cow, good golly Miss Molly, and sweet sweet Lord Jesus

    After further reviewing the cited property tax record, so called fiduciary responsible trustee Simpson has failed to timely pay his property taxes in at least 5 of the reported 7 years. His nonsense reply (again cited in your above) states that this was caused by not understanding a mortgage refinancing. What PREPOSTROUS bullshit!!!!

    Where does our so called leadership come up with such sleaze balls? Nothing but two bit political hacks. We shouldn’t be getting rid of our state flag; instead, we should be flying it upside down—as the universal sign of distress.

    Holy Mary, pray for us in the hour of our need!!!

  4. Of course he isn’t qualified to be the trustee the SRHS pension.

    He is just another fatfuck trough-snarfer who is “properly acquainted” with the assholes who are ramrodding/overseeing this fiasco. If he were actually qualified, he wouldn’t get near this mess. An honest person with real talent can easily make 7 figures a year managing 9 figures. In other words, even a piddly $100 mil pension (corpus) can easily support a $1, even a $2-3, mil a year manager IF the manager is competent, and it is all pay for performance, percentage of return. But here, there simply isn’t the reasonable chance of honest, reasonable reward for the time-money-value risk versus the earnings and fiduciary obligations for a REALLY qualified person to take the risk. Why should a person who can perform take the risk? It isn’t a matter of greed on the part of potential qualified managers, it is a matter of the financial return versus the overall mess and the potential civil and criminal liability, even if they didn’t do anything wrong. It is all downside.

    You folks do realize that the SRHS employees are going to get screwed, right? Short of a Federal injunction and some corporate veil-piercing, personal liability, claw-back, etc., the money is simply not there. And from what I’ve seen, even with any of that, it is still a negative value situation. Just do the math. Maybe if and when I have some time, I’ll post some ideas as to how this can be reasonably salvaged. But none will involve the retirees getting 100% from day 1, even if they get 110% in years 3-5 forward to partially make up for the initial haircut.

    And Grampa Grimm, you mentioned an FBI investigator who got a land deal – I’ll ask yet again: will you share details?

    • I do believe that my pension is gone and so is yours. Kevin and his team of fellow dipshits are just running out the clock hoping for a miracle. The money will be spent on lawyers and retirees and crumbs will be left for the rest of us. I also believe one of the hospitals will close and a lot more will find themselves unemployed and starting over.
      The medical staff sure are quiet. Wonder what sweet deal they have cuz I know if they were hit in the wallet we’d all know. Can someone lost all the doctors who left? There is no physician leadership at this hospital.
      Time for some good old-fashioned civil disobedience. How about a sit-in at Lingle or Kevin’s church or even his home?

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