Poolman not guilty of simple assault, following too closely in “made up” road rage incident

Last night, local businessman and media personality Jeff Harding was acquitted by Bay St Louis Municipal Court Judge Stephen Maggio of simple assault and following too closely charges brought against him by Bay St Louis Mayor Les Fillingame’s daughter Katie Stewart. Maggio found Harding guilty of reckless driving for having a vehicle that had engine trouble on the roadways. Harding has not made a decision as to whether or not he will appeal the reckless driving conviction, which stemmed not from the facts alleged in Stewart’s affidavit but rather on defense’s admission the vehicle’s engine would not allow it to exceed 10-15 miles per hour on the roadways.

Mayor Les Fillingame and his daughter Katie Stewart | Image via the Seacoast Echo
Mayor Les Fillingame and his daughter Katie Stewart | Image via the Seacoast Echo

In her affidavits, Stewart alleged that Harding “did purposely, knowingly and unlawfully attempt to put (Stewart) in fear of imminent serious bodily harm by following her bumper to bumper, blasting horn, putting (her) and her 7-year-old in fear of causing accident or bodily harm”, an assertion that was directly contradicted by video evidence in the form of surveillance camera footage from various local business along the route that showed Harding’s vehicle was at times more than 150 feet behind Stewart, only catching up to her when she brought her vehicle to a virtual stop after hitting the curb at the intersection of Turner Street and U.S. 90 in Bay St Louis. Defense witness Aaron Whitney speculated that Stewart was trying to photograph the “Les Fillin’ Machine” before she sped away down 10th Street to the her parent’s residence, again well ahead of Harding, who apparently only sounded his horn once while passing the Mayor’s house instead of continuously, as alleged by Stewart.

The entire chain of events along the route taken by Stewart and Harding from Bouslog Street to 10th Street was witnessed by a Bay St Louis police officer that followed all of the vehicles. That officer took no action to stop Harding or local businessman Aaron Whitney, who was following Harding due to the poor running condition of the vehicle’s engine.

After the trial, Harding was jubilant, telling Slabbed that he was grateful his lawyer George Healey exposed Stewart’s allegations in a sworn affidavit as a “made up story” in continued acts of retaliation against him for voicing his opposition to Stewart father’s administration, which is currently under investigation by the FBI, ATF and local law enforcement for payroll fraud involving a former Bay police department employee and other acts involving allegations of criminality against former police chief Mike Denardo, who is also alleged to have sold city owned assault rifles and converting the proceedings to his personal use. Denardo committed suicide rather than face arrest by Hancock County Sheriff Rickey Adams.

Wes Muller of the Sun Herald was also in attendance last night and those so interested can read his account of last night’s three plus hour proceedings by clicking Not guilty of assaulting Bay mayor’s daughter. ‘They made up a story’. Dewayne Bremer of the Sea Coast Echo was also in attendance but his account may not hit the internet until Saturday.

I’ll have some additional observations about the expert testimony offered by the prosecution as I found that and Judge Maggio’s reasoning behind his decision to be the most fascinating parts of the trial.

40 thoughts on “Poolman not guilty of simple assault, following too closely in “made up” road rage incident”

  1. I was concerned that Mrs. Stewart admitted under oath that she allowed her 7 year old son to ride in the front seat of her vehicle. In Miss. a child has to be belted and ride in the back until 12 years of age. She said that she allowed him to crawl over the back seat while her car was in motion and get in the front seat closer to her. Later when a Bay Police officer, who took her statement after the accident, testified, he said that she told him only that the child was riding in the front seat, not that she allowed him to climb over the seat while driving.
    Hope she will take better precautions in the future with her child in the car. As Harding’s attorney, George Healy stated, “Mrs. Stewart could have easily accelerated and completely got away from Mr. Harding’s vehicle which couldn’t even make the minimum speed limit.
    One lesson learned from all who attended: When you swear out an affidavit against someone, that is a “sworn” statement, and the burden of proof is on you.

  2. Laws and Sworn Affidavits are meaningless to these people. Look at the DOJ Money, Les signed 6 Sworn Affidavits that the money was there but when the Police needed to use it it was spent.

    Forensic Accountants can’t find it.

    Apples don’t fall far from the tree. Making up stories to cover up lies is in their DNA. Now it is being passed on to the next generation.

  3. The Judge did a great job but he should have watched the video and not tried it. The Prosecutor should have not pursued it as well. All he had was a 7 year olds testimony versus video footage. Nice child but I believe irrational behavior from the mom and grandmother caused him all his fear based on what was presented in court.

    They (Prosecutor/Judge) should have stood up to the Mayor, who appointed them, and respected the Tax Payers money and time, even if Les was pressuring them to prosecute. He got everything he wanted except a verdict vindicating Lil Les Daddy Said.

    BSL Crime Family

  4. Fact : Big Pappa Puff Rafferty was supposed to have been the prosecutor!
    Fact : Pool Man needs to sue them all including Rafferty!
    Fact : Wasted lotta tax payers money, poor judgement from judge & prosecutor !
    Fact : Raff gone , now Les has gotta go !
    Fact : Judge should have recused himself from the beginning of this circus & let County Judge sit in on this.
    Fact : Bet all their supporters, 2 Rhonda’s , Coleman , Candy ( who dogs poor little Katie out) Building Dept. Dummies, & the rest of the circus are whining this morning! Just think if he would have been found guilty, would have been on city page & everywhere else as well.
    Fact : The ring leaders of this circus are dying fast !! Just like their supporters!
    Fact : Go get em Pool Man!!!

    1. Candy was fully engaged in her defense……but as stated, secretly despises the Filingames cause Lil Les Daddy Said makes as much as she does and gets free time away from work and causes work burden on her. At least that is what she says.

  5. Katie did not show up to work today. The Auditors are checking her time card to see if it was manually adjusted by her supervisors as they have been doing in the past.

    She shouldn’t be embarrassed, they have been losers and liars for a long time. Only thing different now is a Judge appointed by her daddy verified it!

  6. Fact : Where is Lisa Monti or Ellis Anderson with their little articles about this. Sure they slammed the Pool Man when these False Accusations were made about him or at least made their headlines. They are always on social media with city politics.
    Fact : where is BSL web page update.
    Fact : This administration is crooked as a jay bird with loyal supporters blind as a bat!!
    See where Evans doesnt even believe the tapes. She thinks he still did it. What fools!!
    Fact : So sad these people can’t see the light.

  7. Fact : Should Kati be fired for giving false testimony & lying on affidavits.
    Sounds familiar!! She gets it honestly.
    The ole saying, birds of the same feather flock together seems to apply to this family & his buddies under him in city hall.

  8. Meanwhile behind the scenes at the Fillinhouse, the poor kid is wondering why the bad guy didn’t get locked up. I believe that he genuinely saw an event of imminent danger as he testified to. The event that the kid cited however was one that was made up in the days following August 13th event (or lack thereof).
    Is it possible that an entire family could fabricate a Hollywood style horror for this kid so that when he was interviewed it would be more credible? Would they put him into a car and scare him for their own benefit?You bet they would.
    The problem with lying so much about literally everything is that they start to believe their own lies. This is when lying and impropriety become an expected remedy to just about everything. Furthermore, the people who trusted you once now don’t believe a single word that you say. I think that they took this one too far and got “cooked” in their own kitchen!
    I pray for that little man to recover from what his own family put him through and for a memorable Christmas together for the rest of them.

    1. You are on target with me. He watched them over react and get animated and certainly revisited this situation many discussions and also help from their friends who need Les more than the city needs him!

      1. One Trick and Duped,
        Your analysis is pretty much what Judge Maggie so tactfully said in his decision. The child has been caught up
        in a situation with adults and their reaction to it.

  9. My Fellow Americans,

    Congratulations to Poolman even though he got stuck with a bogus charge of reckless driving. I hope to see him challenge it because if the judge sees this as a form of reckless driving then he just opened up a can of worms. There is no minimum speed limits posted on these types of roads.

    I also thought the mentioning of the mechanical condition of the vehicle was crap. I say that because our brilliant law makers abolished the requirement for a state vehicle inspection sticker just this past year. It sounds to me that if a vehicle can move, its safe to drive in the eyes of the law.

    In all honesty Mr. Poolman, I prey to God that you take this BSL Regime downtown with a knockout blow. I prey that you charge them with each and every offense you possibly can along with making a them a public spectacle. To bad they can’t be tarred and feathered. 😉

    Mr. Poolman, these people attempted to obstruct your freedom and deserve to be in jail.

    1. You couldn’t run Les off with a pine top and a bucket of shit but the Law can! That’s what it is going to take a court ruling! I hope Harding pursues what is apparent that lil Les daddy said tried to run interference and just put herself in jeopardy!

      They got home cooking in their own kitchen! Wow!

      Using the full faith and credit of the tax payer to block first amendment rights by a city employee should merrit some type of discipline!

  10. Holy Pools of Proof and Cronies of Crap, Batman;

    As I read some of the lies, primate faciae facts detailed in the videos and witnesses I could see ole’ Poolman chugging along at 10-15 MPH in his beautifully adorned FillingBSgame SUV like a clown car with a funny sounding horn in a NOLA shrine parade , I started uncontrollably ROTGLMAO……

    Filing false, defamatory police reports about a very funny situation and blowing it into a life threatening, terrifying thing is what Civil harassment lawsuits are designed to address. But said reports are what desperate cronies do when Truth starts to come out!

    Go Poolman and drain that stinking swamp that resides in such a beautiful , post Katrina city hall in beautiful revitalized downtown Bay St. Louis.

    1. “primate faciae facts” was typed by my unwise Apple instead of “primae faciae facts” which I typed…..

      Then again there was a lot of monkey business that was revealed… so maybe my Apple is wiser then I think. He,He,he

  11. I have read this story and all the comments. I feel the pool man should not be charged with reckless driving. Especially when golf carts are allowed to drive anywhere around town with no plates and can’t go over 15mph. What a bogus charge! The mayor needs to resign and go live in his land of make believe.. And take his lying daughter with him!

    1. Les lives in the “Big Rock Candy Mountain”. Lemonade streams, hay in every barn, money grows on trees, whiskey in every bottle (unless Charlie gets there first), pay for no work(Wendy McDonald).

      Bobby, Wendy n Les want daffodil farms, natatoriums, free trolleys, free garbage pick up etc…..

      Bobby has only worked hard 2 times that I know of while being in office:
      1. To get the City to approve his private road in a manner never done before in the history of BSL and all beneficial to him and adverse to the city. He did not limit himself on speaking time nor did he worry about getting the meeting over with as he usually does. He waited till no one wasx left in the meeting and asked his peers to approve which they did. This is the swamp my friends.
      2. To get a side walk, lights and culverts in front of his and his families houses
      3. Otherwise he has no original thought unless it benefits him. Look how he threw Mr. Adams under the bus!

  12. I’m not a cop, but I thought they couldn’t write a ticket for something alleged unless it was a DUI resulting in an accident or an injury by moving vehicle. The cop didn’t charge Poolman, but the judge did? Maybe someone with more knowledge of the law can clarify. What I’m reading is that it’s punishable to drive under the speed limit and tell the truth about it and okay to file a false affidavit.

    1. City equipment is driven down Highway 90 all the time at 15 to 20 miles an hour slowing traffic. Maybe the City should be cited for that. I know because I have been behind them and the illegal, untagged golf carts going so slow one had 8
      Automobiles behind it going down the Old Spanish Trail one day. I was behind that too.
      And, is the Builfing Official allowed to continue to drive a city truck? Has his appeal for DUI ever been resolved? That wrecked 4 automobiles and sent folks to the hospital?!

  13. Maybe the DOJ needs to investigate the Judge co-conspiring with the Mayor on these false charges.
    Yes, Golf Carts are permissible and can not exceed a certain speed limit due to the type of vehicle. There are NO restrictions on min. speed for any vehicle, only maximum. This Judge should be sanctioned for his ruling. Please Poolman appeal….
    I hope you file charges against the Filligames for putting you through so much grief and financial burden. Wonder what Napoleon will do when he is not mayor anymore. Who can he harass and bully around, and no income. Who would hire him? what can he do?? No skills that is obvious during his tenure as Mayor. Can’t wait for the elections.

    1. he is going to be a used car salesman. he won’t only give you a good deal he will give you a good deal more bullshit.

      Les and Compretta are the special men…….let em have it!

  14. Did we sweep the tale of Charlie Oliver away yet? Was it supposed to be his third or fourth DUI that was mysteriously covered up? So the poolman gets pinched with a wreckless op charge for not going fast enough and Charlie gets nothing for crashing into several people while drunk?……at nearly the same location. And Charlie (the understudy of nobility) remains capable of driving a city truck.
    What about the folks that testified that they were behind the poolman who were also going to slow?

    1. really is crazy. the minimum speed limit must be posted as on the Interstate. When you have intersections and stop lights and school bus traffic etc as on highway 90 there is no minimum speed limit. if there were it would be posted. no brainer. Maggio had to give him something while staring down the barrel of the mayor who appointed him. still not justice.

      it is my understanding that katey will be getting a notice to appear in court on falsely accusing mr. harding and having him falsely arrested. my my the web they weave by just not being able to tell the truth. it is a family tradition to talk with forked tongue. it is ashamed a beautiful young child is exposed to this.

  15. Malicious Prosecution.

    This is a classic case of malicious prosecution of all 6 of the elements of the tort affirmed. Mr. Harding needs to pursue this tort, with the help of, hopefully, Mr. Healy, Esq. I plan to seek-out Mr. Healy for a malicious prosecution, if interested, matter regarding about the same that occurred at the city of Gulfport.
    If these false charges are prosecuted it could stop how easily people file false affidavits and these prosecutors/judges destroy people’s lives with malice.

    1. Robert, I couldn’t agree more. Malicious prosecutors need to be brought to justice. I know of a few who are politically motivated and it seems like they have unlimited resources at their disposal to bag and tag anybody they want.

  16. I asked for her to be prosecuted for the false reporting….I was told I could not press charges against her its up to the prosecutor. Like that will happen… he gets his check from Les Lie.

    1. Sir. I don’t see how it’s possible for a person to essentially commit slander based on false allegations. I wish you well on your journey.

      1. Proving defamation will be easy while collecting damages will be more of a challenge. A long life of garnished wages from her or her soon to be unemployed father will prove to be useless. The elemnts of proof in a defamation case are pretty straight forward and very clear in this case.

        1. The plaintiff must prove that the defendant made a false and defamatory statement concerning the plaintiff. (DONE)

        2. The plaintiff must prove that the defendant made an unprivileged publication to a third party.(DONE)

        3. The plaintiff must prove that the publisher acted at least negligently in publishing the communication.(DONE)

        4. The plaintiff must prove some degree of private or commercial damages.(DONE)
        I have faith in the pool guy to find a resourceful young litigator that likes low hanging fruit. The mayor used his elected (bonded) position to vilify one of his most colorful citizens. Hmmm?

        1. I would disagree with that assessment because it leaves out actual malice and does not consider that the affidavit is a form of privileged communication as was Stewart’s court testimony. That does not mean Poolman won’t prevail but the Defamation will not be easy for him to carry his burden of proof.

          The easier case IMHO would be proving Malicious Prosecution or Abuse of Process.

          1. Malicious Prosecution/Abuse of Process/Defamation:

            Since Poolman’s damages are less than $75,000 and/or there is no interstate issues or diversity of state residency of litigants I would image it would be a State Disrict Court filing.

            The city/County along with Lesbo would be immune as they will claim that the police report was factual.

            Certainly Lesbo’s daughter would not be immune for filing a false police report which created the basis for the false political crony prosecution.

            If Poolman can get some free litigation help he could have a case to set a standard to deter future Lesbo antics.

            Drain the Lesbo swamp NOW.

    2. Poolman and My Fellow Americans,

      Once again there seems like there is something fishy going on with the Mississippi justice system. They seem to make a habit of prosecuting the innocent and letting the guilty get away without a scratch.

      There is no way in hell I will believe that Les’ girl cannot be held accountable for her actions under a “normal state of law.” Clean her clock Poolman. And don’t stop there. The DA and anyone else sanctioned as a lawyer in the state who is involved, should be disbarred.

      This is another episode of ignorant justice brought to you by “The Regime.”

      1. By hearing the case at all when the daughter of the mayor, his boss, was the affiant. In normal places i.e., places other than Bay Saint Louis, that’s called a conflict of interest, and is to be avoided in order to retain public respect for the judiciary.

        In normal places.

    3. So, she gets to lie to the court with no repercussions as stated in any affidavit anyone files? You know that little statement about it being a crime (purgery) punishable by law??!!

  17. I’m still wondering how Maggio justified not recusing himself from this case. Was this really worth destroying his judicial credibility and integrity over?
    I sure hope so, because he did.

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