Holiday Bliss in A Place Apart?

Christmas falling on a Sunday has been good for the 24×7 news cycle, especially locally. The Rabble-Rousers are out in full force in the Bay ahead of next Tuesday’s workshop on the future direction of the Bay PD. A packed public workshop would be a good thing, especially if those that came out for the workshop at 4:30 stayed for the ensuing City Council meeting which starts at 5:30. Per the last workshop Councilmen Seal and Compretta are on record against consolidating services with the Hancock Sheriff while Councilmen Reed, Falgout, Favre and Boudin have yet to take a public stand on the issue.

Back on the 9th I wrote the following about the meeting with the United States Department of Justice in Jackson between certain City officials and the DoJ folks that are locally responsible for the Equitable Sharing Grant, which the Fillingame Administration co-mingled and misspent:

Speaking of rumors, one is swirling that Mayor Fillingame yesterday blamed the entire fiasco on deceased former Chief of Police Mike Denardo going so far as to claim that Denardo had forged his signature on the annual financial affidavits submitted to DOJ which showed the restricted funds were still in the bank despite the fact they had been comingled and misspent by the Fillingame Administration.

Let’s back up over a week and visit with Cassandra Favre’s comprehensive article on the last City Council meeting ’cause it is all coming out:

Probe at City Hall: Council wants answers in alleged forgery of Fillingame’s signature

Blame the dead man? A Classic and (classless) move as the Fillingame Administration passes straight through the twilight zone into the stuff of a cheap soap opera. Better yet was Cassandra capturing the nuance in the counsel provided to the City Council by City Attorney Trent Favre. To understand why we appreciated it is to understand that Slabbed earned its media card covering the post Katrina insurance litigation including the concept of double dipping coverages. In its most simple form in order for insurance coverage to kick in there had to be a loss and that loss could not necessarily be insured multiple times. Should the DoJ take pity on the City and not demand immediate repayment of the accumulated grant payments in favor of letting the City spend the money the way it should have been spent to begin with, then City Attorney Favre’s point about there being no insurable loss is valid.

There is a catch however and Cassandra picked it up:

Trent Favre said he has asked the bonding company to provide a list of covered acts. “Every bonding case I’ve ever looked at is an illegal act or malfeasance,”

Malfeasance? It is an English common law crime described this way on Wikipedia:

….a few “elements” can be distilled from those cases. First, malfeasance in office requires an affirmative act or omission. Second, the act must have been done in an official capacity—under the color of office. Finally, that that act somehow interferes with the performance of official duties—though some debate remains about “whose official” duties.

In addition, jurisdictions differ greatly over whether intent or knowledge is necessary. As noted above, many courts will find malfeasance in office where there is “ignorance, inattention, or malice”, which implies no intent or knowledge is required.

Since the last Council meeting City Attorney Favre taken some criticism, here on Slabbed in comments and in emails involving City Council members. Stacey Cato nails that part in today’s Echo:

Bay Council member alleges misuse of funds

Stacey dead on nails the reason the Council defunded the administrative position in the Police Department but it is those pesky, amended DoJ affidavits that Hizzoner claims contained his forged electronic signature that is coming back to haunt him:

Fillingame said there were some amended reports sent in to the DOJ, but he thought “the intentions were good,” he said.

“Actually, before I was really brought into the conversation about the DOJ funds,” Fillingame said, “there were some reactions to the initial awareness of the fact that the funds … had not been spent as they (should have been in accordance with) the guidelines. I think what happened in those amended returns is that (the police department) had gone back and tried to recapture some of those expenses and report them, that really could have very easily qualified for those types of expenses, but (the DOJ) very quickly turned those amended returns back. Dismissed them, basically, because the actual expenses they considered in those amended returns had already been included in the budget.

“Those amended returns were filled out and sent in electronically and part of that electronic transmission process was to electronically sign the same names that had typically been signed manually on the other reports and I hadn’t participated in that but evidently they had just sent it in electronically.”

Fillingame said he wasn’t quite sure how his electronic signature was forged.

“It was evidently that was something that didn’t require a whole lot of personal information for them to click on my information,” he said, but “they were dismissed and really not used in the process. I didn’t make, really, that big of deal about that. Had it caused the city some issue, I would have made a big issue, but it really didn’t.”

It is an issue because Hizzoner made it an issue by blaming the dead man. Chief Denardo is not the first person Mayor Fillingame has put under the bus and he certainly will not be the last. I bet the two previous City Clerks could shed some light on the preparation and electronic transmission of those amended DoJ affidavits.

While we are on the topic of Hizzoner hoodwinking the locals this story is classic:

Yes, Virginia, there is a noise ordinance in BSL ~ Cassandra Favre

And speaking of noise ordinances and public nuisance bars today we have a tale of two Cities……

Biloxi seeks option to close downtown bar as ‘public nuisance’ ~ Anita Lee

City rejects plan for cafe by day, lounge by night in Depot District ~ Wes Muller

One City welcomes new businesses and outside investment but also  aggressively moves to shut down businesses that operate outside the established norms. A Place Apart turns away new business and outside investment because it does not enforce its existing quality of life ordinances. The difference between the two is stark.

24 thoughts on “Holiday Bliss in A Place Apart?”

  1. Imagine working for the city of Bay St. Louis, and being suspect as having committed electronic forgery. Until an investigation is done on this, all employees are suspect, and everyone is also subject to being the object of the next electronic forgery by “whomever” this is. They need to put this one to bed and quick.

      1. You hit the nail on the head Observe. “If anyone really wanted to.” I know Stacey Pickering is a master at covering up forgeries. 😉

  2. Happy holidays to all.

    I’m overrun by a busy schedule and lots of visitors, so this comment will lack the usual links. I’m certain your friendly blog operator or someone else can confirm what I saw a few days ago, and post the relevant links and quotes.

    What I noticed was the BSL 2015 audit was now posted for online review at the State Auditor’s site, but the 2014 audit was still MIA at the OSA as of the last time I looked.

    An additional item of interest was the accounting for the DOJ funds which are the subject of much recent discussion in the newly available 2015 audit. I specifically wanted to to compare the fund balances from the 2014 and 2015 audits on this topic, but 2014 was MIA at the Auditor’s site. HOWEVER, I seem to remember seeing that the 2015 audit showed a beginning balance of ZERO in the DOJ fund, and a transfer during fiscal 2015 of in excess of $200,000 into the DOJ fund. My memory may be incorrect, and I can’t access either the FY 2014 BSL Audit posted at EMMA, or the FY 2015 audit at OSA.

    So, my memory may be incorrect, on the details, and things could have changed in the last few days; but it seemed like this ought to be looked at.

    1. rfp,
      You can read the 2014 audit on the city’s website. Go to the Financial Transparency link. Isn’t that a hoot?! Anyway it is there under Audits.
      At the last meeting of the Council on Dec. 20, City Clerk, Sissy Gonzales told Council she had sent the 2014 Audit to the State this past Feb. and when she talked to them that week, they said that they must have misplaced it. Higginbotham told me it will not be posted on the State Auditor’s site until it is reviewed by them.
      I will be interested to read the 2015 audit by Bobby Culumber. I have been wondering about a statement he made to Council when he gave the 2015 report. He said that the DOJ money was there all the time. The Council looked as shocked as everyone else. There has been a lot of time and $$$ expended on this investigation. For him to make a statement like that was unbelievable after reading the DOJ Preliminary Report and the State Auditor’s report as to the exact day that it was unrestricted and co-mingled into the General Fund?!
      Considering the fact that he knows there is an ongoing investigation about that Grant, does he have a professional or legal obligation to the DOJ to advise them he found the money and exactly where?!
      These meetings are taped you know. That has concerned me since I heard him say it to Council.
      What say you, or anyone else on here that knows the rules of procedure for auditors?

  3. Culumber needs to shed light on his findings and an investigation on forgery of the mayor needs to be expedited.

    Les said there was a very serious breach of security when councilman Falgout and Jeff Harding walked thru the maintenance yard at the council chambers with a key he (Falgout) was issued and bonded to have. Les wanted a major investigation and Raff agreed. Many issues latter Lil Les went after Harding as well and was proven to have fabricated and embellished a serious crime on him that was proven laughable.

    Now someone forges his signature on 6 affidavits on Federal Documents that can put him out of Office and possibly in jail and he says it wasn’t that serious to look into.
    Drain The Fricking Swamp now!

  4. This council cannot make decisions in a timely manner. This should have been put to bed along time ago. Ricky Adams needs to take over this police dept. asap. As long as hizzhoner is in control of this dept. the officers will not be able to enforce the laws. He tells them what laws to enforce and which ones not to. Hizzhoner also said the police dept. is not broke. What world is he living in.

    1. He also directs who they arrest and warrant! He should have them arrest Lil Les Daddy said and the City Prosecutor should prosecute her for falsely filing a complaint against a citizen with intent to harm his reputation and go to prison. She also wasted city resources and should have to pay for that as well.

      She should have to repay him his costs and wear a sandwich board on the corner of main street and beach blvd that says ” If You Lie You have to wear this”!

    2. We do seem to be coming close to hitting complete dysfunction. The city council is losing ground, not making progress, to fixing this mess. It sure seems logical to think that handing over the law enforcement functions to the Sheriff would mean one less thing for the City of Bay Saint Louis to screw up.

      We sure don’t see the DOJ breathing down Sheriff Adam’s neck for screwing up his forfeiture fund account and I’m betting he doesn’t have missing guns and missing employees on the payroll, either.

  5. For the last several years I have sat here and read plus commented on all of the goings on in BSL and the lies that Les and his administration have told the public with a straight face.
    All through life we deal with many people and can usually detect the ones that are sincere and the ones that are not. Being in business, It is very easy to know the good from the evil, and Les is nothing less than EVIL. a bad person is too good for him, but EVIL. To outright continue to lie and weasel his way out of situations he created is bad. He and his Family attack citizens of BSL and have them charged falsely.. His latest on accusing a Dead Man who can not defend himself is one of the greatest moments during his career. And yet it continues…….. The electronic signature forgery. What a classic we have with this man. We all know with this process an email has to be sent to someone to accept and then click where you are directed. So who received the email to accept and sign electronically?? 2016 has been exciting, I can’t wait for the Lies he will create in 2017.

    What is more depressing than anything is the fact that good citizens of BSL are so blinded by all of this. If any of you are reading this, wake up and DRAIN THE SWAMP, and maybe we should include the City Council Doug and Bobby and Reed. They have been there too long and come to the meetings and vote, never taking a sincere interest in the budget or requests from the Mayor. Just rubber stamp the Mayor and move on..
    HAPPY NEW YEAR !!!
    And thank you Doug for all of your hard work on your site..

    1. Bobby has only worked hard on 2 things since being in office. To get a private road and subdivide private property on it for his family against all zoning and city ordinances and to get a sidewalk in front of his house. otherwise he is lost, confused and uninterested.
      he misses a lot of council meetings and gets paid but he never misses a solid waste meeting. the difference is he has to show up at the SW meeting to get paid. he gets compensated on the council whether he shows up, is informed or not or if he just sits and waits till Les tells him how to vote.

      He is as big an alligator as Les and wendy, wallowing in the swamp! collecting a pay check without conscience!

  6. Don’t forget Donations to Slabbed are tax deductible! today is only the 30th, I’m sending mine in today….

    Happy New Year!!

  7. Lots of new choices comming soon…Lisa Cowarn & the pool man for mayor?? Speed Sign owner for ward 4?? Realtor Sanders for ward 3?? Nancy main st and mayor EF for ward 2?? David Kenney ward 1?? The zimmerman brothers for ward 5&6?? The pirate Doug and Greg Farve at large?? Going to be a interesting election cycle.

  8. Doug, you mentioned Reed, Falgout, Favre and Boudin have not committed on how to structure the police dept. If they would hire their own chief or consolidate.
    Well, something is very fishy here, because a “very” reliable source told me the candidate Les has chose to fill the chiefs position had met with all council except Wendy and Joey. He said all of the other council member met with him and committed to supporting him. And now they are say they never committed ??? Never made a choice.???
    This council has to go. They are getting too much like Les with the Lies…
    I was told he came from the State Police with great credentials and good plans for structure for the department and budget.
    Drain the entire Swamp !!
    please no more McDonalds on the council….
    I would like to know how Wendy can still collect a check and stay on health insurance and NOT attend any meetings?? How long will this last? The good people in ward 2 should have representation. She is healthy enough to go out and party and drink and eat, yet can’t attend a meeting?? Happy New Year

    1. 2017 Facts Info: met him, yes! Committed, no! I directly said to him and Mayor that day and numerous times since: I was going to finish review of all options… I have now done that.. thoroughly: I support the Sheriff ‘s ability for the next 12 months because a cloud is and will continue to hang over it till ALL investigations are done. Happy New Year to all!

      1. Thank you for clarification Lonnie. Just what I had heard…
        Make a decision and move one please so the City can have some structure and not let Les continue.
        Also call his bond in to repay the money he spent. I did not enjoy it and he needs to pay the consequences for his actions..

        Can the Council do anything about the absence of Wendy and continuing to pay her. Is there anything in the books about ability to serve??? This is not really fair to the Taxpayers to support those two. Henry has always been a deadbeat…

    2. she was walking in the rain with her grand children. maybe she doesn’t know better?

      I heard henry needs the city sponsored insurance? does the taxpayer need them or do they need the taxpayers? Pretty simple to answer that. she was noncontributing when she was going to the meetings. the meeting time doubled because she couldn’t follow fast enough. she did not teach math that is for certain.

      1. Wendy is still being paid? She hasn’t performed her duties in 8 months or so but yet she is seen all over town partying.

  9. On Texas Flat Road, pouring down rain, a Hancock county sheriff police car passed a truck-pulling a trailer on a bad curb onto oncoming traffic. We had to pull off the side of the road to avoid being struck by this sheriff car. This county sheriff car was heading towards a no injury accident. A car was in the ditch

  10. Bet Wendy shows up today and votes to keep the Police department…..
    She will resign and retire at the next meeting, giving her access to PERS. Les will then appoint her replacement due to the fact she now has less then 6 months of her term…. WE TAXPAYERS ARE’NT THAT STUPID TO SEE THE WRITING ON THE BATHROOM WALL…. STINKS LIKE IT

  11. BSL Taxpayer
    Fact:
    I have talked to a few of the councilman you named that is on board with Les’s chief appointment.
    At no time in our discussion did they say any of them state they supported his appointment.
    They did speak very highly of him & was also told by Farve that at the end of their conversation he asked les not to put it on the agenda (Dec. meeting) because he was not sure he had the votes because he felt like some members wanted to follow up on the Sherrif’s proposal & the candidate was still there when he made that statement.
    Not sure where you got your info. from but I would suggest you contact them & find out from the horse’s own mouth.

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