As Rachael Ramsey remarked on twitter, the Lede was buried:
Developer aims to build boutique hotel on Bay beachfront ~ Stacey Cato
Smith gave each council member an information package which included details of a lawsuit where suspected drug money had been seized from an individual during an arrest, but a judge had ordered it must be paid back.
“Is this part of the FBI (police) investigation fund?” Mayor Mike Favre asked Smith.
“It is, which is why I don’t want to go into details on this now,” Smith said. “We can go into an executive session if you need a few to discuss the backstory.”
Why was this discussed in executive session? We have a final court order dating to March and I’d bet big money little new ground was broken in executive session that already wasn’t broke by the media well over a year ago.
Several police officers have either resigned or been terminated this week over a pending federal investigation of a “secret” discretionary checking account, City Councilman-at-large Mike Favre said.
“We went from finding that we had a police DOJ fund that was established on paper but monetarily was not there, to a police chief being investigated for evidentiary items that were missing and being pawned, and the police chief’s suicide.
“We also found possible payroll-fraud allegations with other members of the department, as well as problems with security of the evidence locker, and IT breaches that resulted in lost evidence.”
The fact the City is paying for the judgment from the reserve fund can only mean the cash that was seized sprouted legs and walked off. The systemic corruption at Bay PD is a major black mark on the former Fillingame administration whose legacy the taxpayers are still having to pay for with their tax dollars.
I am amazed when police arrest significant amounts of money from innocent people in the name of the war on drugs why the media acts like such happenings are either unique or an aberration. Just last month for instance:
As Dimitrios Patlias and Tonya Smith found out, getting their money back is the real battle. When forfeiture funding is not being squandered Bay St Louis/Pelahatchie style, local law enforcement often abuses the loot – the history of that is both long and well documented. As part of the obscenely expensive and futile war on drugs it’s past time that particular program is ended.