Comment bumps from Jackson County. The truth is likely very ugly

Slabbed literally has lifers that go back way far back but there are just a handful that were there for the prequel, Nowdy being in that number. As I watch the Singing River Health System disaster unfold I’m reminded of old business because I’m seeing it connect in certain ways to that which is now before us. And at the bottom are the vested participants in the plan.

I think the commenters are making a case that the Jackson County Board of Supervisors is stalling for time to avoid revealing the truth because the truth in this instance is very ugly. Anyone that can read a financial statement can see how bad it is when it is adjusted for the fraudulent financial reporting related to patient receivables. When you adjust the numbers and run rudimentary financial analysis, the tax increase needed to honor the promises made to the vested plan participants would be staggering.

There are other options. I have colleagues that have suggested to me that privatizing the two hospitals under one operator would be the better option, a process Jefferson Parish Louisiana is currently concluding with the larger of its two public hospitals.

Given the history of the SRHS saga the commenting community here at Slabbed are rightfully skeptical.  Here is a sampling:

Legal Community battles are always down and dirty. Commenter R. Scruggs lays down brass tacks and smack on “Thursday SRHS Miscellany: Public hospital to comply with Open Meetings bill passes the Senate, plus a court hearing.

Simple Man understands the truth is likely to be very ugly on “SRHS Retirees Protest through the Mardi Gras Holiday plus Judge Harris is on the case to stay (Updated)” after Observer worked the math.

14 thoughts on “Comment bumps from Jackson County. The truth is likely very ugly”

  1. The only sources of funds large enough to “fix” the SRHS pension plan imo are either Jackson County issues bonds to fix the problem or the State Leg makes a special appropriation to fix the problem. Whether either of these would even be permitted under the constitution and statutes doesn’t really matter because politically they will never happen.

    Meantime what’s this?
    BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. – A Hancock County supervisor is calling for an investigation into the Diamondhead Water & Sewer District following the abrupt resignations of several commissioners and employees.

    Supervisor Steve Seymour tells The Sun Herald he plans to ask his fellow supervisors at their next meeting to approve a full investigation into the controversy surrounding a multimillion-dollar construction project and its possible connection to the resignations of General Manager Mike Collard, Chairman Charlie Johnson and two district employees.

    1. Jackson County taxpayers are already on the hook for the county having co-signed the $100 mil for SRHS’ construction and improvement bonds with the 5 mil tax headroom as collateral. That whole boondoogle is riddled with “interesting” situations, too. I’m not certain, but I don’t think there is any more headroom left as far as raising the millage more than the 5 mils on property taxes to offer additional collateral for other entities.

      The SRHS pension plan is a whole ‘nuther can of worms and I’m just guessing, but like you, I don’t see the pols from around the state coming to the rescue of either the hospital or the pension. It’ll probably have to be the Jackson County taxpayers, all alone, getting it up the rear in some other way if “the taxpayers” bail the pension out. I hate to say it, but based on the current picture, what I see happening is that whatever is left of the SRHS pension plan, after the lawyers, investigators, etc. get their fees, will be disbursed in some form (like a straight payout or some form of “rollover”) to the contributors with a “good luck, suckers.” Now, if you could get a general agreement among the contributors and retirees to endure some pain now, a real manager might be able to eventually get things working again. But I see no evidence of that on the horizon given the current folks running the show.

      Now, if criminal charges against the current players start getting filed and they are removed, or they have the good grace to resign, that will put a whole different spin on things, but as long as the folks who created the mess (or simply didn’t know enough to see it happening) are running things, there is no fixing it.

      Why does anyone – ANYONE – think that the current management can save it? If they were merely incompetent as this mess grew and grew, they are just as incompetent now. But if it was fraud, unethical behavior, etc., then they are not only incompetent, but dishonest, too, and have multiple reasons to engage in a cover-up/CYA. No matter what the cause, this mess was not a result of one or two unfortunate bad decisions, a single unforeseeable external disaster (like a Katrina wipeout that ins. failed to cover) or anything defensible. This mess is a result of misfeasance, malfeasance and utter incompetence, all aided and abetted by unethical, if not illegal, behavior by folks fairly charged with failure in their professional responsibility. And it has been going on for years at SRHS and other parts of city and county government in Jackson County, and by the same players.

      It would not surprise me to discover that those in charge are hoping the contributors and retirees will finally agree to take whatever is offered because they’ll figure that something is better than nothing.

      As to the bonds, the taxpayers will likely get hit with the 5 mil increase to cover that part of the mess.

  2. Looks like the corruption garden is sprouting again. This time in Hancock County. Something about these utility districts that seem to breed crooked weasels in great numbers. I guess the Hancock BOS will hire Billy Guice to figure out who is screwing the pooch in Diamondhead.

  3. I personally wouldn’t put stalling past anyone in this situation as the connections most likely run deep into the “bloodline”. More especially with John McKay and other members that may be suspect of being a part of the regime. That’s right folks, McKay with connections to the Walker’s and DMR fishing trips

    This cat should be statistically doomed in any future election if he decides to run. I have an idea for a new campaign sign–simple and to the point:

    NO-WAY, McKAY!!!

  4. RFP is right. The truth is inconvenient. Reminds me of A Few Good Men. jack says to tom “you want answers” and tom says “I want the truth” then the most resounding line jack says “you can’t handle the truth.” The desire for self preservation in the weak human condition trumps the desire to accept or promulgate the truth. Who ordered the code red to the pension in 1983 and how did they benefit from it over the past 30 plus years?…

  5. In 1983, SRHS hired a new employee by the name of George Nash. Mr. Nash was familiar to the employees. He had done the presentation to employees about switching from PERS to the new SRHS pension fund and how great it was going to be. At the time Nash worked for PERS but seemed like overnight SRHS had a retirement specialist and low and behold his name was George Nash. When presented with the new plan was presented it did not sound like we had an option to stay with PERS.

    Mr. Nash served at SRHS for a couple of decades. Upon his retirement it was revealed that Mr Nash had stayed with PERS and did not switch to the new wonderful SRHS pension plan! We should have realized then that we had been
    sold a fake pot of gold at the end og our rainbow!

    1. Jackson County supervisors want to extend SRHS agreement by 120 days. (http://blog.gulflive.com/mississippi-press-news/2015/02/jackson_county_supervisors_wan_1.html)

      If anything demonstrates the motives of the JC BOS, this is it. The deadline for qualifying to run for supervisor is next week. The primary election is August 4. Rather than give a report on what they have been able to do so far (or not do), they push the report deadline to right before the primary election. When the report is released (and it should be bad) and recommendations given, the BOS will take action to show their constituents they are doing something. This action is 70% political calculation.

      I concede 30% of the reason for the extension is necessity. Despite the agreement they all signed, I understand SRHS is not totally forthcoming with the BOS and their attorney/consultants in terms of relevant documents. SRHS has given some information to them. However, when they request supporting documents for that information, or additional records to explain the current state of SRHS finances, I am told the stone wall rises again and those requests are declined.

      The public will not get to the bottom of this without judicial action.

  6. Once Mississippians light up the evil political darkness by burning their picket signs , naturally supported by wooden crosses, den who shows up but Hackman to investigate and straighten it all out with the local arrogant elected sheriff and officials …..

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HaVtCN3rX4M

    Then Hackman goes bout wit’ his razor sharp interrogatories ….

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1JX07MCCL4

    However, Hold da’ phone cuz Holder won’t be coming to Jackson County anytime soon as he is “holed” up in Mo. to sue the Ferguson, Mo .Sheriff’s Office and probably seek a Federal consent order like what happened to NOPD in NOLA

  7. I have spent a lot of years watching political campaigns. The contests for Jackson County Board of Supervisors this year will not be the norm. As someone else mentioned, good solid alternatives must come forward if the incumbents are to be ousted. Thinking back, I remember the Ocean Springs mayors race between Connie Moran and John McKay. The end result was Moran 62%-McKay 38%. Just think about that race for a minute. A lifelong politician and very well known,McKay had every republican from Governor Bryant on down come to Ocean Springs and endorse him. He stood with all of the city aldermen, except one, while they endorsed him. The only republican McKay could not get to endorse him was the Ms. State Auditor Stacey Pickering who would not publically give him a clean bill on the DMR fishing trips with the Walkers. In fact, Pickering said that there was an ongoing investigation. I do not recall anyone, except the people, endorsing Moran. Not suprising, McKay lost in an embarrassing landslide. He did not even carry the ward that he once represented as an alderman. This time around he has the DMR fishing trips,the special relationship with the Walkers and the SRHS scandal to work with. How can he possibly be re-elected? He must be very vunerable. Nothing can happen quick enough to help him or the other supervisors. Good people must come forward to defeat even the weakest or the people of Jackson County will end up with more of the same incompetance currently on display.

  8. Tommy Gordon, everything you stated is true but you forgot the power of money. Unless candidates opposing any JCBOS has lots of money for signs, media and the like – they cannot beat the old regime no matter how crooked they may be.

    1. Mr. Rodgers

      You are music to my ears. I see exactly what you are saying. I have mentioned many times in the past that the radical regime of Mississippi thrives of the ignorant along with those who drink the kool aid. That opinion has not changed to date.

    2. John, Tommy Gordon’ you and others have good comments about what is currently going on with this year’s local elections. With one Harrison County supervisor awaiting sentencing for federal crimes admitted and rampant rumors of others to follow from multiple counties, you would think that many potential candidates would be coming forward.Many will wait until the final days of the qualifying period. Money is one of the most important ingredients and it takes a lot of it. I personally think character trumps money with experience coming in a distant third. If the voting public thinks you are a crook your chances of getting elected are greatly diminished. I did not say impossible. The Ocean Springs mayor’s race Tommy Gordon references is a classic case of a candidate with both ample money and unusually, over the top support from the statewide Republican Party, for this type of local race. His baggage,personality and negative campaign message all contributed to his defeat by a gigantic percentage. Money did not overcome McKay’s self create issues. I guess my final point to be made is the fact that the right candidate on message with a grassroots campaign can overcome a big money disadvantage and win.This happens more and more across our great country each year. If ever there was a time that this could happen along the Coast, it is this year. The people must encourage the right men or women to take advantage of the political turmoil we see everday and jump in. The time for a change in every elected and appointed office is now.

  9. If you readers thought our corrupt state officials did anything to help DMR; think again. It was the FBI and they did little in my opinion.

    So you SRH retirees and workers, do not expect your crony politicians to assist you in any way. Yes, Senator Wiggins has shown empathy and has really worked in your favor. But where are the remainder of the elected officials? Are they feeding from the same hog trough as Jamie Miller?

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