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.
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.
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?
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!
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:
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”