Questions raised about preferential treatment of Bay City Official booked with DUI after accident with injury

Last night after the battle for the Crab trap the bat line began ringing off the hook here at the mobile offices of Slabbed New Media saying there was a multi-car accident with injury on Highway 90 at Washington Street and controversial Bay St Louis Building Official Charles Oliver not only caused the accident but was also arrested for DUI by the Hancock County Sheriff. Let’s begin Slabbed’s coverage with the Seacoast Echo:

“I’m afraid (the Steamer mishap) was just the tip of the iceberg,” Bay St. Louis architect Michael Reeves said recently.

Reeves said there are several other projects in the area that he believes aren’t quite up to national building codes, particularly for handicapped accessibility.

He said he fears that the flurry of building activity, combined with a limited pool of inspectors with the proper safety training and knowledge, is a recipe for disaster. Despite Reeves’ concerns, that won’t be the case in Bay St. Louis, Bay Building Official Charles Oliver said Friday.

“We believe in safety first,” Oliver said. He pointed to Tripletails Bar & Grill as an example.

Anyone that read that particular piece of propaganda from our state sponsored newspaper of record would certain see the irony as newly constructed non ADA compliant commercial structures have popped up from time to time in Bay St Louis under Oliver’s tenure as the unlicensed chief of the Bay St Louis building department. While he can’t pass the test to get the credential he is a long time friend of Bay St Louis Mayor Les Fillingame and that is meaningful here in Bay St Louis. How about we take a second stab at the DUI arrest:

In other words, Oliver said, “Whatever you have sticking out, you have to have sticking in. The code says you have to have 50 percent of the length of the exterior sticking in. Here, he’s got 70 percent sticking in.

Folks I apologize I can’t seem to get these Seacoast Echo links to work this morning. Luckily I have a video of Mr. Oliver in handcuffs doing the perp walk leaving the hospital after he had blood drawn:

Police: Bay St. Louis building official Oliver arrested on DUI charge ~ Wes Muller

This is where the details begin to get a bit fuzzy but I was able to get some clarity from a public official that I will not name as they are not authorized to speak about such matters to the media. You see there are two versions of Oliver’s treatment after his arrest but they can be reconciled into one complete narrative but first we need to get Mr. Oliver’s version of events leading to his arrest.

According to Oliver and his emerging DUI defense strategy:

Details were sketchy at the scene, but witnesses said Oliver – driving a 1955 or ’56 Chevy – was reportedly driving in the right lane of the east-bound side of Hwy. 90 and was apparently having problems with the right rear tire of the vehicle.

“I heard his brakes lock up,” John DeSalvo of Bay St. Louis, who was involved in the accident, said at the scene. “He tried to swerve right and missed a Volvo, but he clipped a blue Chevy HHR, and then hit the back of my Yukon.”

The HHR also apparently careened into another vehicle, a white pick-up truck, after impacting with Oliver’s vehicle.

However according to another eye witness to the accident that emailed Slabbed New Media immediately after the accident:

I saw a car crash a little while ago and the guy that was driving was arrested for DUI. He is a bay St. Louis code enforcement officer……..This car crash tonight was pretty significant. He was driving in orange fifty something Chevrolet and hit three other cars at approx 50mph.

The intersection where the accident occurred has a traffic signal. To set things up for those of you that are out of town we’ve had Cruisin’ the Coast going on all week and it is a major tourist event that many locals like myself tolerate because the highways become jammed packed with vintage autos cruising down Highway 90 in both lanes of traffic doing 35 from Bay St Louis to Ocean Springs. Here in Bay St Louis the party starts on Thursday and for all practical purposes does not stop until Sunday night. My point is after the last night’s football game involving cross town rivals plus Cruisin’ the Coast, Highway 90 in Bay St Louis was a happening place full of traffic last night, especially at that intersection.

The mental picture I formed was one of cars waiting at the light or proceeding at low speed in traffic through the intersection when Oliver plowed into them, according to Slabbed’s eyewitness “at approx 50mph” which is roughly the speed limit of the Highway.  Mr. Oliver is contending  through his spokesman it was his back tire going haywire. How about another video since it appears the folks at the Sun Herald have one too:

Here is where the rumor mill comes in because Slabbed has been told by multiple sources that Oliver was released on his own recognizance after he was booked with First Offense DUI. However, other sources have indicated that a bond in the amount of $1,500 was set for Oliver. Both assertions are true. Again according to a public official that I will not name as they are not authorized to speak about such matters to the media:

[Justice Court Judge] “Jay Lagasse signed a blood warrant and $1,500 bond” to be paid “after 8 hours of ‘sleep off time’ “.

However far less than 8 hours later, Oliver was released at 3:28AM from the Hancock County jail on his own recognizance without payment of the $1,500 bond ordered by Judge Lagasse. Rumors are swirling that Bay St Louis Mayor Les Fillingame was instrumental in securing Oliver’s release on his own recognizance from the County jail early this morning. Slabbed has been told the County Sheriff has the discretion to release such perpetrators based upon the totality of the facts at their sole discretion.

However, blood was drawn and it will be sent to the state crime lab for analysis, which could result in the related DUI charges against Mr. Oliver being upgraded to felony DUI. This case is assigned to the Hancock County Justice Court.

As someone that has been to the funeral of a 5 year old child killed by a drunk driver and seen first hand the pain associated with a mother having to bury their 20ish year old son killed by a drunk driver during the holidays, lifers at Slabbed know we’re editorially hardcore on this subject and support as a matter of editorial policy prosecuting such offenders to the fullest extent of the law.

Finally as a parent of a child that was on that stretch of highway last night, I’m thankful the injuries caused by Mr. Oliver’s accident appear to be minor. Please folks, don’t drink and drive because the people on the other end of these accidents caused by drunk drivers are anothers child, parent or loved one. The pain such reckless behavior causes is beyond senseless.

19 thoughts on “Questions raised about preferential treatment of Bay City Official booked with DUI after accident with injury”

  1. You are correct in saying lucky nobody was seriously injured. I sure am glad I was in the right place at the right time to witness first hand and take the video!!! Karma has a serious case of WHOOPASS lets see how the court shakes this out!!! Listen closely to hear him when he sees the POOLMAN!!!

    1. You are a disgrace. Regardless of what HE did, you have NO ROOM to spout your vile mouth off. Have seen you in action, and you have no business to judge ANYONE. Being gleeful of others’ misfortune shows what a sad specimen of a human being you are.

  2. Wow! He needs to step up admit guilt and take it like a good citizen. He is a good citizen by all accounts but he made a serious mistake that is made by many every day. Get a bicycle and do what the rest of us do. Remember admitting it is taking responsibility loosing your driving privileges is taking accountability. Glad no one was hurt but this is still a serious violation. He may need to get a ride to work and manage from a desk but the keys to the City Sponsored Vehicle should be taken away. The only shame in any of this is acting like you are innocent! Good Luck with the out come you will feel better for it by just taking responsibility.

  3. ” …will the taxpayers have to pay for the interlock (I.e there is definitely a monthly fee for management)”?

    Will the tax payers also have to pay for the auto insurance increases which there will be for his driving a government car for the next 2-3 years while he will be in an assigned risk pool?

    Freaking take the city car from him permanently and make him take public transportation or better yet – ostala vista baby.

  4. Sheriff Adams comments he released Oliver because while
    at the hospital he complained of chest pains, and didn’t
    want the liability. The hospital released him so what could have happened? A reliable source told me his BAC was .28,
    so releasing him had no liability? Go figure a few months back a life long resident and businessman had an incident and he posted bond. Heck in the past month a local bar owner had a DUI and he was booked and posted bond.
    As Mr. Oliver said on my video, “why you doin that” and the
    non audible part ” come on man”.
    Sheriff Ricky why you doing that, come on man!!!!

  5. Don’t Drink and Drive… That is all there is to it. Too many serious accidents happen everyday because of drinking and Texting. Drivers need to take these actions serious if they are going to be on the road.
    The Hancock Sheriffs department will handle this the proper way. I understand there is no preferential treatment. Sheriff Adams has to abide by the law and treat all the same.
    Glad to see Poolman was in the right place at the right time. This one is hard to make go away. All of us will be watching to see how this is handled especially since there were multiple cars and injuries involved.
    Doug let us know when he goes to court so we can go watch !!

  6. Privilige is something that had a lot of supervisors fired. This was a bad move. Otherwise he could have had an uneventful situation. It is now going to be played out in the court of public opinion! Les’s attempts to thwart the situation, being over served at his house then getting bonding privliges!

    Some one tell les that friends dont let friends drive in that condition!

  7. This is a bad situation all around. A DUI is no joking matter. Hopefully Mr. Oliver will be humbled by this event and is held accountable for his reckless actions. Grateful nobody was seriously injured.

    One can’t help but find Mr. Oliver’s response to being captured on video as he was leaving HMC in handcuffs amusing. His wife certainly has zero issue videotaping anyone and everyone at public meetings. Why should he be surprised that someone is taking video in public place documenting a public official’s arrest for a DUI? Maybe it was the alcohol. Whatever it was that caused his reaction to being caught on video doesn’t matter. Rest assured if it had been Poolman or another one of the city’s perceived enemies in similar circumstances, Rhonda would have gleefully had her phone out to capture the moment.

    1. No perception; they’re real…in city hall and especially out on the street, dragging people through the mud, so they can be oh so excited about any PERCEIVED injustice.

      1. Mr. Fed I do not have a list of commenting rules as we take a minimalist approach to commenting in general and it is rare that I delete any comments.

        I made an exception allowing these two comments through as I am very interested in your opinion about local happenings but I would kindly ask that you stick with using one email address when leaving a comment on Slabbed. That way you won’t end up in the moderation que waiting to be cleared.

        In general the commenting policy here follows the basic principles that are laid out here. Thank you.

  8. The comments of “judging”, “dragging through the mud” and other grade school grammar just made my day. The mayor should draft a new city ordinance that any city official or employee caught breaking the law, will not be reported by any news agency or discussed in social media circles and by all means, no gossiping on the streets. It makes his administration look bad. I have decided to stop trying to figure out why a certain group of citizens are under the impression that this administration is infallible. My head hurts.

      1. Not really in agreement nor disagreement. I believe if the Bay Police would have handled it, everyone’s reaction would probably have been the same. Maybe a call to the MS. State Troopers would have been more prudent. I’m quite sure that at the present, they have heard about the double standards that exist in Bay St. Louis. We are past being the laughing stock of the Coast and have moved into total embarrassment.

  9. Mr. Oliver has,been allowed to keep a job he never should have had for years. The man can not pass the exams the give him credentials to inspect buildings, and now this.
    Who else could get this employment?

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