When Jackson County Supervisors Ken Taylor and Randy Bosarge had Billy Guice explain his appearance at an ex parte hearing, he justified it by claiming that there was an “order authorizing ex parte communications.” Guice did not say which judge entered the order, nor in which case it had been entered. It would seem Guice had a “get out of jail free” card.
SRHS Watch scrutinized the dockets of both the federal and chancery courts and could find no order bearing any similarity to what Guice described.
You might think that if such an order existed, it would be a great defense to scurrilous claims. If the Mississippi Supreme Court ordered you to explain your conduct at such ex parte hearings, you could point to a court order and simply say “the judge authorized this and I followed his order.” We waited for Guice’s response to see which order he was talking about.
Guice spends 22 pages in his response to the Supreme Court. Nowhere within those 22 pages does Guice make the claim that his actions were sanctioned by, or pursuant to, an “order authorizing ex parte communications.” A “get out of jail free” order that existed a week ago has now magically vanished.
We are left with a few questions:
- Which court provided such an order?
- Where may a copy of such an order be found?
- Why did Guice not mention this order in his response to the Supreme Court?
- Are taxpayers footing the bill for Guice’s 22 page defense?
- Was Guice lying to the JCBOS and also lying to the public?
The last question is one that all supervisors should be asking. Guice represents not only the supervisors, but the county and taxpayers. As an attorney for a public body, he has specials duties and obligations. He also has a duty of truthfulness.
The Mississippi Rules of Professional Conduct section 4.1 states:
In the course of representing a client a lawyer shall not knowingly:
(a) make a false statement of material fact or law to a third person; or
(b) fail to disclose a material fact to a third person when disclosure is necessary to avoid assisting a criminal or fraudulent act by a client.
The JCBOS should demand answers from Guice.