What we have here is an ol’ fashioned bar fight

And it’s the bar down here on the coast that is having the bare knuckle brawl folks and the shame of it is I haven’t had a chance to add some much needed commentary but that changes with this post, which I’ll update as I gain time through the day. The short story is this. In one corner there is what I’ll term “the settlement retirees”, their counsel along with the Jackson County political establishment (most of it anyway). In the other corner are the “we want to be made completely whole retirees” and their counsel. The money stakes here are huge which is why the fight is turning very nasty, again exposing some old rivalries that I first noticed back during the Scruggs prosecution.

For me the question is settling now a better deal than fleshing things out via litigation. I did notice that a concern raised here about the handling of attorney fees was addressed.

First things first, someone sent me “retirees that want to be made whole” attorney Harvey Barton’s 2009 judgment via anonymous email a while back and I can’t find it in my extensive email archive.  Nevertheless someone took the time to mail me a hard copy and I agree the time is right to explore the judgment and more importantly the legal concepts behind what Judge Persons found.

I’ve also seen and will post the second recusal motion of Special Judge Hilburn as it exposes some of the fault lines running under the Bar in greater detail.

Before I do any of that its worth pointing out that Slabbed began covering the Singing River Pension Meltdown because it was the exact type of story to which we were tailor made to cover and not because of the gruesome car crash quality to it all but because Slabbed could help get information out to help the retirees make informed decisions.  We’ve reached the inflection point. Updates will be posted beginning with the flying muck below the jump as time allows.

Update #1:

Here are the first and second motions to recuse Judge Hilburn. Judge Hilburn has a Circuit Court background and he sits as a special judge over a Chancery Court matter, which in Mississippi carries significant procedural implications. The second Motion to recuse highlights the old case involving Dick Scruggs and Judge Hilburn that appeared on the old Folo blog, the text of that old post left in a comment here back in April. Both Motions are well worth the read as Plaintiff Almond complains that her case is being stonewalled while the federal court case involving a possible cram down type settlement binding on all the retirees progresses. Click to obtain the full pdfs:

Motion to Recuse Judge Breland Hilburn
Click to obtain 12 page pdf
Second Motion to Recuse Judge Breland Hilburn
Click to Obtain full 81 page PDF

But the muck was flying well before the above motions were filed because at a hearing after the proposed settlement was announced where Retiree Attorney Earl Denham made some accusations involving the proposed settlement plan trustee Steven Simpson that went well beyond anything I’ve seen published in the media (these are not presented n the following transcript excerpt), which I caution the reader is unofficial. What is clear is Singing River, Jim Reeves and company were not going to take a good muck fight sitting down and that is fodder for the next update:

Singltary Hearing20160107_13424458
PDF Courtesy SRHS Watch.org | Click to obtain 6 page pdf.

Update #2:
After the second Motion to Recuse was file by Cynthia Almond’s Attorneys Harvey Barton and Earl Denham Singing River moved to Strike the Affidavit Harvey Barton filed with the Second Motion. In support of it attached was a 2009 case involving the Estate of S.A. McMillen that tagged Harvey Barton in a major damages award involved in what ironically turned factually on a major breach of fiduciary duty.

01062016 SRHS Motion To Strike Affidavits
Click to obtain full 64 page pdf

I personally found Judge Persons opinion in McMillen to be enlightening in some of the information it imparts and not for the reason that it was used by Singing River Health in trying to avoid Judge Hilburn’s recusal. That is next up as Slabbed analyzes the proposed settlement.

8 thoughts on “What we have here is an ol’ fashioned bar fight”

  1. So this settlement “victory” is merely SRHS paying monies in over the next 35 years that they should have paid over the last 5 or so? And didn’t a judge order this to be done? What about furthering the life of the pension for those yet to retire? How about adding language to disallow the termination of the pension? Why is Reeves getting paid for something already ordered? And why is Oglesby still fighting tooth and nail filing ridiculous motions if this is a done deal? She just wanna ride the gravy train of delegating the heavy lifting and thinking to those more capable until her number and the rest of SRHS admin is called? Is it just to enrich Dentons and Dogan and Wilkinson?

  2. It is so sad that these retirees have to beg, plead, cry and protest over a pension they worked for, paid in and richly deserve. It is equally sad the District voters of Ross, Cumbest and Harris failed to send them packing.

    In the present form of the SRHS proposal, the lawyers will reap millions, the cronies that caused this problem will get off without even a slap on the wrist, so like DMR, and the RETIREES and UPCOMING RETIREES will be screwed. And will Jackson County taxpayers pick up most of the costs?

    Be sure and thank Ross, Cumbest, Harris, Mangum and McKay for not doing their jobs. And thank your neighbors who voted them in or out.

  3. I also am not amused. Nothing in the proposed settlement alters or changes anything in the plan document.
    If Mr Simpson wants to modify or terminate the plan, it must be done after an open hearing and the Chancery Court approves it.
    The court has already said SRHS must pay what they owe plus interest to the plan. Even if the system were sold, the Debt owed to the trust must be paid.
    I am sure the plan will have to be modified in order to provide a retirement for ALL plan participants and not just the current retirees.

  4. Ha! I like it Slabbed! At first, I thought bar (watering hole) fight, which Mrs. Oglesby would win hands down with a red wine bottle. Then, I realized you meant THE bar….which Mrs. Oglesby could never enter the ring. This explains why she has approved and believes this settlement is legit. Every law firm’s dream…..a client you can outsmart.

  5. I got one word to describe what Srhs and their dozens of attorneys and a certain few BOS have done to our hard worked and honestly earned pension plan: FUBAR

  6. Holy de ja vu all over again, Yogi

    ‘Been turned down……. fo’ fair consideration..?
    ‘Gotta go see da’ Special Judge’ …….
    ‘let em’ have it ! ‘…….(i.e. bro’ litigant Almond fixin’ to get sucka’ punched).

  7. Looks like something is building to a climax, not JJ Spa Gangam style, that is going to play out in the court room and instead of over at Eagle Plaza.I just love attorney bitch fights using all of the legalees in place of the curse words laymen would normally use. This reminds me of the the Battle of the Alamo in some ways. You have Barton and Denham (Jim Bowie and Davie Crockett) inside the fort with about 200 Texans (retirees). On the outside you of a coalition army that includes a whole mix of attorneys,Federal and old judges,other appointed legal minds, hospital executives,crooks,liars, thieves and others. Can the retirees and their attorneys hold out for very long against these evil forces ? I guess we will see soon.

  8. Once again, I just shake my head with pity for the poor souls of the SRHS who have been screwed by the entitled elite. Why is it so hard for those buttheads to understand that those people WORKED FOR and were PROMISED those monies – and what they have done to them is ILLEGAL! Where are you Attorney General???? Where are you FEDS??? Why is everyone ducking their heads and hiding??? Why aren’t we ALL standing up for these people????
    For one – every bum that has been involved in the fleecing of these poor workers should be shunned and avoided by everyone. Stop aiding and abetting these slobs. And more importantly – STOP VOTING FOR THEM!!! You idiots that keep voting these reprobates in are forcing those of us who they are screwing to put up with them!!! Quit voting for these crooks!!! Why?? Why are you voting for them??? You see what they have done to your neighbors – you see what they are — why do you keep voting for them??? Are you stupid??? If you voted for them, then I am talking to you.
    For those of you who God gave good sense – thank you for voting against these thugs, but there is much more work to do. I am just unable to figure out why this is continuing in this State. We have surely been abducted by aliens here in Mississippi.

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