Justice Delayed: Controversial Bay Building Official’s Circuit Court Appeal of DUI Postponed Again

Bay St Louis Building Official Charles Oliver Mugger
Bay St Louis Building Official Charles Oliver Mugger

Yesterday, Circuit Court Judge Chris Schmidt continued the DUI appeal of controversial Bay St Louis Building Inspector Charles Oliver until the June 2017 court term.  Oliver had previously pleaded no contest to the charge in County Justice Court, which came after he caused an accident with injury on Highway 90 in Bay St Louis during the 2015 Cruisin’ The Coast. Blood drawn pursuant to a warrant after the accident showed that Oliver’s blood alcohol content was in excess of 3 times over the legal limit.

According to a Seacoast Echo report dated May 24, 2016, Oliver was represented by attorney Damian Holcomb, who then shared a law office with then Bay St. Louis city attorney Donald Rafferty. Rafferty was replaced by the Bay City Council in August 2016.

The appeal was originally scheduled to be heard on Tuesday February 21, 2017 but was postponed until February 23 due to a scheduling conflict involving Rafferty, whose role in the case was not clear to spectators in attendance as he did not handle the case in his role as City Prosecutor. On Thursday the matter was then continued by Judge Schmidt to the June Circuit Court term.

Yesterday afternoon Slabbed New Media heard from several concerned citizens that were very unhappy with the fact that Oliver has yet to face justice 16 months after the incident with one observing: Continue reading “Justice Delayed: Controversial Bay Building Official’s Circuit Court Appeal of DUI Postponed Again”

Secretary of State Hosemann: Bay City Officials Never Notified his Office of Triple Tails Encroachment on State Green Space

In our first post on the topic of the Fillingame Administration playing Santa Claus with state owned land I asked the following question:

Does anyone reckon that Seal, Compretta, McDonald or Hizzoner came clean with Hosemann about the council granting Triple Tails permission to cantilever their building over the green space in direct violation of the lease between the City and the Secretary of State?

I also disclosed that I had contacted the Secretary of State’s Office with some questions on this matter and here one day in advance of another meeting between City Officials and Secretary Hosemann I received an answer to the inquiry, which was:

Did the City ever contact SOS and advise SOS in early 2015 that they were allowing Triple Tails to construct their building over the state owned green space? If so what was the nature of the contact and how was the questions-City requests handled by SOS?

That was an important question because there was lots of paper wasted in the form of Board minutes in 2015 documenting contact between City officials and Secretary Hosemann’s office regarding Triple Tails. The timeline constructed with the help of the Hancock Alliance for Good Government contained in the first post on this topic illustrates: Continue reading “Secretary of State Hosemann: Bay City Officials Never Notified his Office of Triple Tails Encroachment on State Green Space”

Oppositional-defiant: This is what the Bay St Louis City Council deals with frequently

I’ve been to or saw the live stream of at least three Council meetings over the course of the summer where one or more City Councilmen explicitly warned the Mayor to not use the former City Attorney’s services after his contract expired on July 31, 2016 as the Council would not approve it for payment. And of course what does the Mayor do? If you guessed he uses the services of the former City Attorney you’d be a winner!

Courtesy of a person familiar with the operations of Bay St Louis Municipal Government Not Authorized to Speak with the Media
Courtesy of a person familiar with the operations of Bay St Louis Municipal Government not Authorized to Speak with the Media

Continue reading “Oppositional-defiant: This is what the Bay St Louis City Council deals with frequently”

How about an update for the Bay

Kingfish at Jackson Jambalaya profiled Senate Bill 2587 and its impact on Bay St Louis’ perpetual Interim Chief Building Inspector Charles Oliver last Saturday that is well worth the read. Kingfish nailed the situation at the end of the post and as a point of disclosure it was JJ’s coverage of the same situations in Jackson and Hattiesburg involving this exact issue that made us hip to it here at Slabbed:

Kingfish note: Mayors Johnny Dupree, Frank Melton, Chokwe Lumumba and especially Les Fillingane all appointed department heads on an interim basis whom they knew would face confirmation problems. Checks and balances can be such a nasty thing but are a fundamental part of representative government. It is also tempting for Mayors to find any means possible to avoid answering to anyone on anything. The city council apparently had enough of the foolishness and put an end to some of it.

Rafferty can argue all he wants BUT department heads are municipal employees. There are some department heads who are subject to confirmation votes by the city council. Thus the law applies to them as well.

Mr. Rafferty is now the former City Attorney and that brings us to a well written story run under a misleading headline:

Bay Council cancels counsel’s contract ~ Stacey Cato

The term “cancels” carries with it the connotation of the council taking an affirmative action when the reality is the City Attorney’s contract simply expired or an even more precise term “not renewed”, both correct terms contained in the lead off in Stacey’s story. Allowing something to expire or to not renew a contract by not holding a vote on extending it further in reality is not affirmative action at all. It is that very difference where the Attorney General’s opinion that Mayor Fillingame had no statutory authority to veto the non-renewal in June draws its basis for support. Despite the Mayor and former City Attorney’s protestations to the contrary, this is not a unique or new concept in Mississippi’s various governance statutes. However, it is abundantly clear from the quotes Stacey snagged for her piece that Mayor Fillingame remains in deep denial: Continue reading “How about an update for the Bay”