I’ve been kicking this whole Bay-Waveland School District becoming the City of Bay St Louis’ capital projects fund around for a few days and I’m coming to a few inescapable conclusions that include the term malfeasance. Since Slabbed began covering local Hancock County government the only constant is the rate at which schemes are hatched by Bay St Louis Mayor Les Fillingame, all of which costs money, a commodity everyone agrees is in short supply at the City of Bay St Louis. This does not stop the City Council from regularly being derelict in its statutorily charged duty to oversee the municipal purse, which in turn lends an Alice in Wonderland type quality to the entire sad affair.
I say this because we are now finding out the Bay-Waveland School District is so flush with money that it has extra to give the City for sidewalks, and not the ones promised to Councilman Reed and Compretta’s Districts along Old Spanish Trail earlier this year. Earlier this year though, Bay-Waveland Schools Superintendent Rebecca Ladner was sho’ nuff’ poor mouthin’ levels of education funding here in Mississippi and that is where I begin:
Being as how we are equal opportunity here at Slabbed we gotta give good ol’ Sid Salter the credit for inspiring this post:
I thought Sid’s column was superficial as there is plenty of blame to be spread around to both political parties for Mississippi’s well documented deficiencies in public education and that is where I think of history and not the partisan political variety. Once upon a time in Mississippi, 16th section tracts were routinely used as a source of political patronage at the expense of the school age kids and local levels of funding were at the whim of the Board of Supervisors or City Council, not the school board. These abuses were cured in the 1980’s under Governor William Winter and the Education Reform Act. But here in the Bay we’ve now come full circle. Continue reading “Sid meet local noisemakers Rebecca and Les”
Today, Slabbed New Media filed a Motion to Quash and/or for Protective Order in the civil suit styled Magnolia Group v O’Dwyer Realty et al in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi. In the Motion and Memorandum of law in support, Sole Owner/Publisher of Slabbed New Media, Douglas Handshoe argued that certain discovery requests were being made for materials covered by the qualified reporter’s privilege applicable in the United States 5th Circuit.
“Slabbed New Media believes that off record communications should remain exactly that”, said Handshoe, who’s website is locally renowned for its coverage of the massive political corruption scandal in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana which included bribery and money laundering schemes involving former Parish President Aaron Broussard and certain contractors for the Parish of Jefferson and other prosecutions which collapsed under the weight of the US Attorney Commenting Scandal.
“Trust is the only currency that is readily tradable in the field of investigative journalism. Sources take massive amounts of personal risk to leak information on public wrongdoing to investigative journalists, such no doubt part of the reason the US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals created the qualified privilege for journalists.”, opined Handshoe. ”It is my hope to return to reporting the events of the Bay Tech case, instead of participating in discovery fights in the case itself.”
Depositions were slated to begin this week so this is not necessarily a surprise:
Procedurally this means Magnolia Group is suing O’Dwyer Reality and its former agent Mary Bunch. That said O’Dwyer cross sued LNG, Rigsby, Nicaud and Bunch so the gang is tied still together in litigation. The Gordian Knot that is this lawsuit largely remains.
Joe Friday comes to mind here folks since the parties did not remain silent and Magnolia Group Attorney Ben Galloway is hot on the trail. Sending a subpoena to the Echo, whose publisher is married to the School Board President, is an interesting maneuver. I’m sensing quality muck will emerge in this case as I hope the taxpayers learn the full extent to which their local schools have been co opted by the politically connected in service to their pecuniary interests.
And I am already hearing rumors additional defendants will be added to the suit. The Bay Waveland School Board, in my opinion, has wholly failed to properly discharge their fiduciary duty to the taxpayers and voters of Hancock County and if this litigation begins consuming tax dollars meant for education, Slabbed New Media will not be kind to the perpetrators. Click the pic to nab the PDF:
I see from Pacer Magistrate Roper has recused himself from this case. It took me a few seconds to figure out the likely reason, which I will not share, but I will say Magistrate Roper is known as a straight shooter that calls his cases down the middle and he was absolutely right to stand down here IMHO. Continue reading “Magnolia Group sues over Bay Tech Building Swindle”