More dominoes fall: SRHS Outside Counsel Roy Williams retires plus two masters = bad news (Updated)

Let’s start off with April Haven’s latest for the Mississippi Press via RFP in comments:

SRHS attorney Roy Williams retires, effective immediately

Boy the way Glen Miller played
Songs that made the hit parade.
Guys like us we had it made,
Those were the days.

Sorry folks wrong story. Roy Williams is gone and ostensibly passes the SRHS account along genealogically to his son Brett.

Here at Slabbed we’re blessed. I’m talking with several people with detailed knowledge of both the Jackson County political landscape and the SRHS executive suites and that does not count accounting stopping in with us yesterday. Some of these nice people use charitable language saying things like “ethical lines were blurred”, which is a polite of way of saying that certain people are fixing to get into some deep trouble. Anita Lee set things up very nicely:

As it would happen, I know a thing or two about the proper administration of pension plans. The lawsuit at the heart of Anita’s second story should have the desired effect because of the clear cut breaches of fiduciary duty that were created by clear cut conflicts of interest. For instance in this saga we learned that former SRHS Board Trustee Morris Strickland actually was charged with investing trust assets. When I saw that I gasped but then again the lawyers I know that are most knowledgeable of ERISA and trust common law all advise their clients to have an independent plan trustee and investment advisor period, especially in something like a defined benefit plan. At Singing River management and the Board of Trustees took those roles and this brings me back to Mr. Williams and in house SRHS counsel Celeste Oglesby because you wonder what in the blue hell they were thinking allowing such a setup to which mucho liability would naturally attach should things go wrong.

Maybe Williams and Oglesby advised the Board of Trustees to get an independent trustee for the pension trust and were ignored. Maybe they went along to get along. Something tells me before this is done we’ll all know the answer.

Update:

The Sun Herald SRHS Krewe has unleashed a torrent of new reporting that is well worth checking out because Roy William’s departure came as a surprise to the Health System per spokesman Richard Lucas. To make sure the heat stays directed at the Health System, County Board of Supervisors Special Counsel Billy Guice reminds everyone the Board has a forensic accountant and a highly qualified CPA firm working it at full steam. Finally Anita Lee is back in the blogging business and she pokes at bit of fun at Brett Williams and the nasty gram he sent to the Sun Herald.

33 thoughts on “More dominoes fall: SRHS Outside Counsel Roy Williams retires plus two masters = bad news (Updated)”

  1. What kind of experience does Celeste have? She just do what Roy tells her or is she a real lawyer? I’d also ask what other firms SRHS does business with. For years there were 2 FT lawyers. Doing what? Time to start looking at contracts she approved.

  2. so what responsibility does greg shoemaker have if he KNEW and didn’t bring info forward to media or DA? He is just as liable and should have name attached to all. Or is that why he is supplying all the Intel? To cover up his lack of actions.

    1. If you take Shoemaker at his word he did sound the alarm internally. And he evidently got as far away as possible from the perpetrators after he was ignored.

      And so you’ll know Shoemaker did not respond to my request for comment.

      You’ll need to find another scapegoat.

  3. Roy Williams announces his retirement pronto. Kim Savant announced his retirement pronto. Hmmm, I have to think about this before deciding if, in my opinion,these two events have any similarities. When someone makes these kind of instant decisions there is usually something in the back round giving people a push into places they do not want to be. We know they have both been in the same federal court house recently for different reasons,of course. Just odd how this happened so quickly for such a prominent lawyer with a major client needing his expertise more now than ever. Strange indeed.

  4. Roy Williams’ week probably started off on the wrong foot.

    Supervisor John McKay appointed Strickland to the position but noted Monday he blames SRHS attorney Roy Williams for not telling Strickland he had to step down because he had moved from Jackson County.

    I thought this public statement expressed a distinct lack of solidarity within the club.

    Then he was served the JCOG lawsuit.

    It also may be a little uncomfortable to have lots of LLC laundry being hung out in public.

    Speaking of which, maybe now is a good time to point out that more than one interesting detail can be found in the various filings of Mississippi Laundry Services, LLC and Mississippi Laundry Holding, LLC. For example, view the 2013 annual filing of Mississippi Laundry Holding, LLC to see who signed the filing as a member.

    Then there is the relatively new practice of the media posting the relevant legal filings with their first reporting on these stories. This has helped put the feedback loop in high gear.

      1. Sounds good!

        I wonder whatchoo got.

        I’ve got an accumulation of amazing and puzzling findings.

        I’m sure some of these puzzles will be solved by posting them here.

        I have a busy calendar this weekend but I’ll be shoveling what I already have out as fast as I can.

        1. I did not previously have the 2013 audit, which means people don’t have to take it from ol’ Doug anymore as it is there in black and white. We need to build a timeline as it will help put things into proper perspective.

          Beyond that I posted the Mississippi Laundry Services 2014 annual filing signed by Roy Williams as a member and then promptly moved on. When I later found out about the Crown subcontract my brain was stuck on Gentry Williams and Scott Walker, not outside counsel. I think we need to flesh things out again.

  5. ww.sunherald.com/2015/01/16/6021382/he-did-what-embattled-srhs-surprised.html?sp=/99/100/&ihp=1 HE DID WHAT????? The Boa Constrictor in Chief has decided to retire quicker than making a bowl of instant grits!!! His smothering grip on the SRHS has been defeated by what? Boa Constrictors have few predators, maybe only the jaguars and crocodiles .The Williams Boa may only fear the FBI and DOJ. No one will believe he decided to just call the Ms. Press first to announce the end of his 50 year law career without telling the other lawyers, clients, employees, and others. He decided to “Just Do It”. Right. Was he depressed because his friend, the federal judge, did not rule in his favor? Does he think Judge Harris will treat him differently because he and his firm backed and managed the campaign of Paula Yancey ,who almost beat Harris just a couple of months ago? Is he upset because Denham and Barton have kicked his a– at the court houses? I think it is more a fear of the predators that may be lurking around the next corner. But for sure my theory is more believable than his story.

  6. I am a member of the SRHS Hopes Facebook page as it is a great place to network with plan participants and other stakeholders. I am seeing messages that they were having Facebook issues and I am envisioning that counsel for SRHS sent a nasty gram to Facebook.

    Supposedly the hospital has a Crisis PR firm to supplement the in house PR department. My best advice to the Board of Directors is such an action is ill advised on many different levels. Most of the people in that Facebook group are the very same ones that you had a duty to look out for, not only are they not your enemy, they deserve some frank answers. The only reason there is such a shit storm now is because your executives have been bullshitting both the retirees and the public for something like 9 months. If your executives are not up to the task of executing Board policy without threats, fear and intimidation……I’ll just say it nicely that your options are very limited.

    1. Fear and intimidation seems to be the m.o. for these agency heads. If you recall, the DMR employees have been afraid to speak and ordered not to speak with the newspaper or public concerning the going ons at the agency. They were told not to speak with the past employees that were terminated without reason. These creeps are so afraid that everything is going to come out and they will get a short trip to the caboose. The S. H. Anthony thing has someone at the Bolton building changing his pants pretty often and he doesn’t know what is around the corner. I don’t think Pul-a$$-o can help him on this one. It is all starting to come together – finally. Oh what tangled webs we weave, when we choose to deceive. Get you some popcorn and watch the onion layers fall off Doug. The smell is mesmerizing!

    1. This could be interesting to see how it plays out. Also, interesting the PR spin being used – again blaming past auditors. Probably sounds good to people who don’t know how finances and audits work. Really what SRHS has said is that they (SRHS internal Finance department who maintains the financials) is or was to incompetent to have accurate financials, specifically accounts receivable balances and that they (KPMG) did not uncover their incompetence. What probably really happened is that SRHS gave KPMG all sorts of support on why they believed these balances should be considered good. That’s the logical reasoning of how these accounts passed the review, especially in the later years like 2012 when the net AR balance climbed up to around $122M.

      Sounds like SRHS is hoping they get some sort of money out of a settlement. But this could absolutely backfire with them spending large amounts on litigation then possible information comes out about the inner workings of SRHS. KPMG is one of the biggest firms in the world and can go on forever on this suit. The SRHS job would have been a very, very small engagement for them.

      1. HOGWASH! Chris Anderson’s work experience was with KPMG. Anderson and Mike Crews (cfo) at the time, knew how kpmg processed audits and forged the audit themselves. and he basically made the report himself–that is why the audit was not “signed” by the “auditor” with kpmg…
        Anderson is the one who should be charged for the crime!!!!

  7. “SRHS wants Judge Neil Harris out of six suits”

    http://www.sunherald.com/2015/01/16/6022176_srhs-wants-judge-harris-out-of.html?sp=/99/100/&rh=1

    Is it just a coincidence that SRHS attorney Amy St. Pé was the campaign manager in the election last year for Harris’ opponent, Paula Yancey, who also happens to be attorney for the JCBOS??

    Is it also just a coincidence that SRHS upper management met with JCBOS in closed session, a mere week after said election, to talk about hospital issues that could lead to a lawsuit??

    http://www.sunherald.com/2014/11/11/5907903/srhs-leaders-meet-with-jackson.html#

    1. OPEN YOUR EYES A LITTLE WIDER! Is it n0t a “conflict of interest” that “young Laurin St.Pe, husband of Amy St.Pe ” was promoted to “administrator of ?” of SRHS??

  8. Sorry folks, but I just gotta say this now before I go to bed. Have you seen this? (check it out) http://issuu.com/msubusiness/docs/dividends_magazine_fall2014/1
    The Fall 2014 issue of Mississippi State’s College of Business Dividends Magazine. Featuring the #1 most hated crook in South Mississippi at the moment, Chris Anderson.
    Please note some of the quotes from the article which centered around “Integrity”
    “A national search was conducted.” This referred to when Lingle announced his retirement and SRHS began to look for a new CEO and low and behold, Chris Anderson, one of their own was found to be the best.
    Fast Forward 19 years later, Chris Anderson announces he is leaving. SRHS’ Mike Heidelberg states to the press “We conducted an extensive search and found Holland to be the best.”

    WOW! really?!! Both times SRHS lost a CEO , the very best in the entire South, no— the entire nation was right there in Pascagoula, MS all the time. Shut the front door!

    Anderson is quoted in the article “One of the most important aspects of leadership is integrity.” Now that is the pot calling the skillet black for sure. How many times did he have to practice saying that one before the interview to say it with a straight face?

    Later in the article, Ditto states “…He (Chris) is upfront about issues.” OMG!!! How much did Anderson pay Ditto to say that? Probably just a few thousand of SRHS Pension fund monies.

    Then Anderson states that he and his wife Lisa have a second residence in Starkville. Alrighty, no wonder you didn’t want your salary published publically. You own a home in an influential neighborhood in Ocean Springs, a home near Jackson and a home in Starkville. All the while you left over 600 current retirees wondering if they will be able to afford the one small home they have after Kevin and the remaining gang members finish looting the fund at a near $5mm a month loss.

    One last piece of information I found quiet amusing for a Friday night was the article mentioned that Anderson had accepted a position on the Council at MSU. Holy Debits and Credits!!!!

    One might conclude that Chris Anderson and/or his special PR team made a sizeable donation to the MSU Alumni, particularly the Business School so he could be placed in the same issue along with John Grisham. Perhaps his sizable donation to MSU is where part of the missing SRHS Pension Fund monies are at, or even better did some of that $88mm accounting adjustment help pay for the 2nd home or the newly added addition to the Wade Davis Stadium.

    Quiet frankly, I would had thought that MSU would have conducted a more extensive background check on their featured candidates for their publication. Chris Anderson, Leading with a Purpose A man of integrity, More like, Chris Anderson, Taking your Funds with a Purpose A man of little integrity and honor.

  9. It will be interesting to see how the whole SRHS turns out to say the least. Who will be the fall-guys and who will be politically protected.

    It certainly looks like the SH has been on top of it. I enjoyed the editorial in the SH written on the 10th of January which stated in part:

    “But although DMR thus far has the sole distinction of criminal charges and convictions, SRHS and the county Board of Supervisors are acting more and more like DMR when it comes to sharing public documents with the public.
    Have county and SRHS officials so soon forgotten the outcome of the DMR’s failed attempt to hide behind a cloak of privilege?
    Considering how lawyered up all of them have become, surely there is more than ample legal counsel available to advise them on the statutory requirements and judicial rulings that finally stripped the DMR of its flimsy excuses for secrecy.”

    I found the editorial to be very informative along with the comments that were posted by the public. Then, something hit me. I remember shorty after the SH’s battle with Pickering and the DMR regarding public records and secrecy (under Miller’s watch), they released an editorial about Miller steering the DMR in the right direction. Hmmmmm.

    1. >>>Have county and SRHS officials so soon forgotten the outcome of the DMR’s failed attempt to hide behind a cloak of privilege?<<<

      I'd describe it as a few minor losses -including a contempt finding iirc- in a very successful campaign to keep the real DMR dirt hidden.

      1. Yep, I would be willing to bet the real dirt was hidden at the expense of the tax payers and a few “trophy deer” mounted on the wall.

  10. Well, I guess the law dogs over at the Dogan Wilkerson,Williams law firm read my previous post about their firm being Paula Yancey’s campaign headquarters and decided to act on it. They don’t want anyone to know why they were so happy with their boating buddy,Federal Judge Guirola, who is from Pascagoula and at one time was the attorney for the JCBOS. I do not remember anyone asking for Guirola to recuse himself based on his relationships with these guys at D,W&W. When you have the nerve as a lawyer to manage the campaign against a seated judge at any level you must be prepared to live with the results no matter what they are. These SRHS lawyers are one of the biggest problems in this scandal. Why are they still representing the hospital in the first place? Does Roy Williams have some nerve or what? In his godly way he just passes the SRHS account down to his son like he owns it. The real reason they do not want other lawyers in their place is because the conflicts and coverups will be reavealed. People, please, if you pray please pray to your god to have the FBI and USDOJ intervene in this matter. If that does not happen, I want to take 5 mils out of there ass. The Williams are starting to make the Walkers look like the junior varsity or maybe even the junior league. They must be stopped.

    1. I agree about the whole Regime being stopped. A massive political turnover would help most of the big issues and corruption going on in the state IMHO. The problem is, when voting time comes around, uninformed voters and people with amnesia put the same RepubliCONS back in office.

    1. Pop the popcorn on gang. I can’t wait for the depositions to start and we get to the part where management claims they had no clue their own books were wrong.

  11. Just walked outside with my cup of coffee and Oh what a glorious day it is!!! Hope you get to enjoy it too.
    It is my opinion that old Fata$$, Pheely Boy, and the rest of the clan have run out of places to hide and friends to cover their butts. PUH-la$$-o is not the savior that they thought he was either imho. Gums are flapping and people are tired of this State being run by Dictators who only have their own interests as concerns, instead of the concerns of their bosses – THE PEOPLE. They have forgotten who put them there and they need to be reminded.
    I hope that Pheel isn’t considering re-election again?? Surely not. His boy Billy is laying low right now. Nope, no photo ops for him!!! And our State Auditor, Stacey Pickering?? Sure hope he isn’t contemplating a run again – after all, wasn’t he the one who looked after his “dear friends and family” in the DMR scandal?? These boys would look silly if they ran again with all of this dirt in their back pockets imho. But they think they are invisible.
    Looks like the SRHS is up to the same ole tricks that the DMR pulled – trying to hide information from the public, WHO PAYS THEIR SALARIES!!! Where is Judge Schloegel???? She will bring them to their knees!!! It’s sad that it takes a woman to do the dirty work, but it appears that most of the male power base is involved in this fiasco!!! Won’t some strong, honest man stand up and do the right thing and put these schmoes on the road to the jailhouse??? I know all of our men aren’t approving of what is going on. I know that if they jumped in and straightened this out that they could run for any office in Mississippi and win!!! People are tired of being persecuted and stomped on by these thugs.
    Don’t forget to go outside this morning and smell the New Mississippi in the air!!!!

  12. I wonder how the records were requested? Did the SH cite the law written in 1983 as a part of their request or the one written in 1986? I think its obvious SRHS has something to hide just like the DMR did.

  13. Page 14 of their lawsuit contains a vague claim that fraudulent auditing is responsible for SRHS’ failure to fund the employee pension plan. Surely, IMHO, the BOT was informed of a problem in 2007, 08, 09 when the SRHS began to decrease pension funding, and again in 2010, 11, 12, 13, & 14 when SRHS stopped funding the pension all together. Yet suddenly it’s all the auditors fault??

    At the very least, IMHO, one would expect Morris Strickland to have noticed that he was only provided the employees 3% contribution to invest and that SRHS had stopped providing pension funding, and then inform his benefactor John Mckay of the matter.

    I sincerely hope that the employee pension fund is made whole. Just seems to me that bad auditing is a small part of a MUCH larger problem….

  14. Tommy Gordon, I appreciate your comments and others but if you think the FBI and DOJ will solve this problem – think again. They did little for their salaries and the cost incurred to prosecute the DMR crooks. And most DMR law breakers were not even charged with overwhelming evidence. Those that were charged received little or no jail time and a marginable amount of fines levied against them. So do not put your faith in the FBI or DOJ. And Stacey Pickering will assist even less. He’s not about to bite the hand that feeds him.

    And our local politicians are too busy looking to be reelected to be bothered with SRH. How sad!

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