Gee this is beginning to sound very familiar, a three pack

I was catching up on Jackson Jambalaya this morning and was cross pollinated, for lack of a better term on this post about Madison Businessman Cliff Torrence’s scrape with the law for allowing underage drinking at his residence in violation of Mississippi’s “social host” statute, which is invoked when an underage drinking party gets out of control and the police are called in. If it was not for the fact that I’m going to highlight three posts the post title for the Torrence saga alone would run under the lede: Judge Breland Hilburn: Where cases go to die a quiet death. Here’s why:

Thus, Mr. Torrence managed to escape the thirty-day sentence Judge McKinley wanted to impose and only paid a thousand-dollar fine. The 2014 violations occurred while he was serving the sentence of unsupervised probation. Mr. Phillips filed a motion to show cause on July 23, 2014 and asked the court to revoke his probation and incarcerate him for 90 days. The motion also disclosed Mr. Torrence had not completed the Courtwatch analysis program. Earlier post with copy of each case file.

The hearing was supposed to be held on August 18, 2014 but was continued until November 10, 2014. The November hearing did not take place as Judge Steve Ratcliff recused himself on November 7. He stated that the “court had been contacted by someone other than defense counsel on behalf of the defendant with information about this case.” The Mississippi Supreme Court appointed Retired Circuit Judge Breland Hilburn to hear the case on November 13.

The docket contains no entries after that date. There are no motions to schedule a hearing, no notices, no nothing. The case is just there, collecting dust.

Moving right along Kingfish has been giving daily updates on legendary Mississippi TeeVee reporter Bert Case, who died earlier this week after a long battle with sepsis. I’m not certain there is a TeeVee reporter in this area that can hold a candle to Bert’s lifetime body of work. For those of you down here that have no clue about Bert, here is a good place to start.

Finally Jackson Jambalaya is going to war, literally, with the Island View Casino Continue reading “Gee this is beginning to sound very familiar, a three pack”

Tuesday evening promises a full house…..

And with Sam Atkinson of the Office of the State Auditor Performance Audit Division rumored to be in attendance, Tuesday’s Bay St Louis City council meeting promises to be quite the spectacle. I’m certain everyone attending will be on their best behavior (or not).

Reading the tea leaves locally there is an incredible amount of heat being applied to the City’s elected officials by concerned citizens regarding the DoJ report. Everyone on the City’s email list should get a sneak peek at the meeting when the preliminary agenda is released sometime this afternoon.

Stay tuned.

Dr. Who

Tick tock goes the clock,
And what now shall we play?
Tick tock goes the clock,
Now summer’s gone away.

Tick tock goes the clock,
And what then shall we see?
Tick tock, until the day,
That thou shalt marry me.

Tick tock goes the clock,
And all the years they fly.
Tick tock and all too soon,
You and I must die.

Tick tock goes the clock,
We laughed at fate and mourned her.
Tick tock goes the clock,
Even for the Doctor. Continue reading “Dr. Who”

Comment bump: From the spam que…

I noticed some comments have been delivered down the black hole to the spam que, a folder that I do not pay especially close attention. If you have a comment that disappears, send me an email and I’ll try to retrieve it from the black hole. Slabbed commenter Nunn Yabidnez left the following comment a few days ago that was saved from oblivion this morning:

Just thinking out loud, but with all the talk of Federal class action suits vs. Jackson County Chancery Court, I wonder if any currently uninvolved attorney(s) are considering taking clients from the class consisting of Jackson County taxpayers in actions against Jackson County, the supervisors, the various SRHS entities and members of those entities, the multitude of attorneys, trustees, etc., and all of their insurance/bond providers, for the millions of dollars of fees paid/received, as well as any further damages that might be collectable, in the retirement suits?

Some lawyer looking for clients might come to believe that once county – taxpayer – money got spent (and more will be spent), it may have created standing and a cause of action for any of those taxpayers. Some cases that anyone interested might start with are Canton Farm Equipment, Inc. v. Richardson, 501 So.2d 1098 (Miss. 1987) and City of Picayune v. Southern Regional Corp., 916 So. 2d 510 (Miss. 2005). Something like that might give some of these folks a whole new perspective about their own back door. Getting clawed-back out while getting something else shoved up the back door sounds mighty unpleasant. And expensive.

Other Voices | Libby Garcia: OSA Performance Audit Division educating Bay St Louis City Officials – A grim reality

January 22, 2016

On Thursday night January 21, 2016, Mrs. Sam Atkinson held a 2 hour training session with the Bay St. Louis Administration (Mayor), City Council and a handful of Bay St. Louis city employees. It was so artfully done, that there were very few questions that had to be asked of Mrs. Atkinson by the officials. The public was allowed to attend the meeting as observers only, and no comments were allowed from the observers, in an effort to maintain the training atmosphere rather than distractive rhetoric which was a good idea. You could tell that Mrs Atkinson was well versed in her field and that we all; employees, elected officials and citizens alike, could learn a lot from her expertise. I later reviewed my own notes and then listened to the tape of the session again. There were three things that seemed to primarily target the City Council:

1. The proper development of the council meeting agendas,
2. The documentation of council actions through accurate minutes, and
3. The approval of the payment of the city’s bills (Docket of Claims) through an orderly procedural chain.

Mrs. Atkinson stated firmly that there was great liability facing the Council Members if their procedures in paying the bills did not follow clear policies and procedures of verification. Verification that the bills were paid in the order they were received, that the bills were separated by docket numbers, properly dated, and subsequently logged into a docket book. She also stated that it was illegal for the Administration to hinder the Council from receiving requested information or the originals of those invoices, because it could make them vulnerable to liability. Then she said something astounding: Misspending of the public’s funds could require replacement of those funds to the public by use of the bonds of the officials that did not do their part to protect those public trust funds…. and (here is the key):


Mrs Atkinson also stated several things that were actually against the law, or you could say “illegal”:

1. The Administration not presenting documentation to the Council when requested.
2. Transfer of funds without the approval of the Council.
3. Spending funds outside the budget
4. Co-mingling of designated funds and several others things that space does not allow me expand upon in this post.

I have attended the Council meetings consistently for at least six years, and have heard the Council repeatedly ask, demand, beg, and downright grovel (in my opinion) before this administration for dated original invoices in time before the meetings so that they could be sure what they were actually paying on the docket, only to be put off meeting after meeting. It has been an embarrassing display of disrespect to the Council by the Administration. All of these problems could have been avoided, had the Administration simply complied with the law. Continue reading “Other Voices | Libby Garcia: OSA Performance Audit Division educating Bay St Louis City Officials – A grim reality”

BREAKING: Word filtering out the Department of Justice report on the City of Bay St Louis has been released (Updated)

In fact, based on what I am being told, it appears the final report on the Equitable Sharing Grant has been released for several days but this situation is fluid as I write this. According to unofficial sources:

1. The DoJ Report has been released.
2. It mandates the City repay all misspent money to the grant program or be debarred from participating in the Equitable Sharing Program.
3. The tab for this is being stuck on the taxpayers of Bay St Louis instead of the perpetrators.

There is more that I will not go into here folks.  If number 3 above is accurate, there is going to be hell to pay because there are some very fired up members of the community already speaking about hiring counsel to sue to the City.

Stay tuned.

Since this post was published it has come to my attention official denials have been made regarding the release of the DOJ report and the repayment demand. We are working to clarify this situation.


Slabbed New Media stands behind its initial reporting.

Friday Omnibus: Love them new 1095s like red beans and rice

Pro Insider tip: You know its gonna be a good fee generator when the bookkeeping staff becomes weepy worried about tax season deadlines.

The Department of the Treasury has concluded that some employers, insurers, and other providers of coverage need additional time to adapt and implement systems and gather, analyze, and report the information. Employers and coverage providers are encouraged to provide returns and statements as soon as they are able to do so.

The only hiccup I see is in the implications of the extended 1095 deadlines on the deadline for 1040 filers in particular.

How about a couple of stories we’ve been following. First up it appears the light bulb has finally turned on in an area of Hizzoner’s brain that was once thought to have been completely and irreversibly damaged:

Where’s the DOJ money? Bay council blocks mayor’s $88K transaction ~ Wes Muller

Caught in a trap…..

Ah hem, lest I digress we had a major federal court hearing in Gulfport on the Singing River Hospital Disaster. Of particular interest was the Singing River/Jackson County gang that can’t seem to shoot straight waxing both apologetically and indignantly attempting the play the different crowds in the different venues. What follows is the indignant: Continue reading “Friday Omnibus: Love them new 1095s like red beans and rice”