Those wanting to catch up on Jackson County suing its own Hospital system can click here for vital background on a story you will only learn about here on Slabbed.
Folks the case has advanced and your tax money is being spent, copiously I’ll add behind closed doors. I have this from a well placed source:
Full docket text for document 191:
Partial Summary Judgment. Signed by D Neil Harris on 10/11/2019. (Whitfield, Carol)
The Court voided the sale/lease agreement – financing agreement between SRHS and SR MOB saying it was not fully spread upon the minutes at SRHS and the County.
The Court also ordered SRHS to pay SR MOB $17,800,000 before December 1, 2019, to avoid being unjustly enriched by SR MOB’s construction of the building. Of that money, $13,000,000 must go to pay off the deed of trust. The Court also decided to hold a hearing to determine the liability of every person/entity that was received public money pursuant to the now void sale/lease agreement.
Since then this case has advanced to the State Supreme Court on interlocutory appeal.
I again openly wonder on what metric does one government suing another merit a sealed case? This is your tax money Jackson County, at least you should have access to proceedings where a judge is dictating how it is spent.
The more I peel back this onion the more it stinks folks and we’re not talking about chump change either. I start at the beginning of this disaster, when Singing River Hospital went hat in hand to the Mississippi Department of Health needing to update its Certificate of Need (CON).
The takeaway from the above is back in 2008 Singing River Hospital needed more office space and had vacant land available on the hospital’s campus to add a 55,000 square foot medical office building that was estimated to cost just over $13,000,000 equipped. Johnson Development of Alabama was hired to do the design and build.
Simmons also admitted bribing the county supervisor with $2,000 monthly payments from a consulting fee provided by Health Assurance LLC of Jackson. The company had a contract to provide medical services at the Harrison County jail. Health Assurance paid Simmons a total consulting fee that climbed to $10,000 a month while he represented the company from 2005 through 2011.
We’ve heard the name Health Assurance LLC here on Slabbed before and that would be here among other places. The link in that old post leads to Jackson Jambalaya and this from the very end of Kingfish’s post:
Priesters? Now we are getting into Bennie Thompson territory.
I guess the root of my heartburn comes from the retirees ostensibly paying for all the legal fees in a breach of fiduciary duty case and folks, it was not the Singing River Retirees that did the breaching. The folks at SRHS Watch have some heartburn too:
The Jackson County Board of Supervisors has allowed the Singing River Hospital System retirees’ pension to be in peril.
By spending thousands of taxpayers’ dollars on legal fees with no apparent solution, it appears the board continues to support the inept former and present hospital administration. Now, the board is attempting to shove the idea of damming the Pascagoula River down the throats of taxpayers.
The board has spent thousands of dollars in legal fees and in lobbying efforts to dam the Pascagoula to enrich a select few. Even though Jeff Bellweber claims the dams will protect the river’s flow and water level, the Pascagoula River has incurred droughts and floods for thousands of years and, like the Mississippi, keeps on meandering along. Why try to fool Mother Nature?
The question in my mind is whether there is anyone in Jackson County whose last name is not Cumbest that thinks Supervisor Barry Cumbest is not a crook? My guess is the answer is more than one but not many.
My personal hunch is a backroom deal was cut that incentivized every Jackson County Sup to support the project as well as keep it on the down low for as long as possible.
Meantime we have this from our friends over at SRHS Watch:
My wife and I are registered voters in Mr. Cumbest’s district. I’m also a former administrator at SRHS and sent a letter addressed to Mr. Cumbest (dated November 3, 2014) when the SRHS pension problems first came to light….so I am genuinely interested in Mr. Cumbest’s latest comments…..especially since he never bothered to respond to my concerns. No written response. No phone call. No followup email. Not even a canned “thank you for your feedback” letter. Nothing. Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I would think that a locally-elected official would take time to at least acknowledge a thoughtful letter from a concerned constituent. If he/she can’t even manage to do that, then how much does that person really “care”?
I’m proud to have voted for Sabrina Manning Smith in the Republican primary and will be at polls bright and early on August 24th to vote for her again in the runoff. I refuse to vote for Barry Cumbest….not because I disagree with him politically…..but rather because he has shown me that he really doesn’t care about those he perceives as “nobodys”. My hope is that the “nobodys” will show up in droves on August 24th and vote him out of office.
The bat line has been ringing off the hook today with tips concerning public officials in a two state area that I would describe as simply Slabbed since it is information the public should know but which would never see the light of day in the main stream media. I am also pleased to report today that some of you guys that read these pages have stepped up in a big way today on the donor front. I appreciate the support including the very generous donation Slabbed received today from the Jackson area.
First things first, Slabbed has been covering two hospital disasters through time though one has been the slow motion variety that you good folks with SRHS reading Slabbed today are likely not familiar in West Jefferson Medical Center, its politically connected CEO Nancy Cassagne and the Parish’s attempt to privatize the Hospital.
It is a strange world at WJMC that over the last two weeks has seen a respected community hospital M&A expert smeared by a TeeVee outlet that took its tip from a politician that should have made the cut to be featured in the Peabody Award winning news series Louisiana Purchased but for whatever reason always seems to get a free pass from the TeeVee media in New Orleans. The hypocrisy is simply too much for Slabbed New Media to resist, especially coming out of a sweep month when the archives here are getting a workout and that has been the case over the past week here at Slabbed New Media with WJMC. As a bonus we even have one of those pesky audit adjustments to examine to boot.
Finally I’m getting information on another Jackson County blast from the past that features all the usual suspects from Maxwell-Walker Consulting to the Jackson County Board of Sups and I am working diligently to source the leads.
Karen Nelson checks in today with a great article that examines the aftermath of Tuesday’s primary elections in Jackson County, which despite the overall low voter turnout resulted in change in County Government. Karen gives credit to the scrappy group of SRHS retirees that will not go away quietly without answers along with accountability for the disaster that has resulted from a coordinated campaign of lies literally stretching over a period of years:
The tight-knit group handed out thousands of fliers, talked to voters, took out advertisements, picketed the hospitals and lawyers’ offices. They became good at giving interviews to the media and religiously attended Jackson County Board of Supervisors meetings to speak out about what they thought was fair and ask for answers as to why the county-owned system failed them and the community.
“I think people in the county were very upset about this,” Kitty Aguilar said Wednesday after the election. “It was unbelievable in most people’s minds that this would go on — the pension plan and how it was dealt with, and that county supervisors didn’t man up, take it straight on and deal with it.”
Local politics is all about pleasing the proverbial chronic voter. The chronic voter is typically grey that has extra time on their hands to engage in political activity like going to Board meetings or manning a picket line.
Since Chronic voters are Grey, they also have a lifetime of social contact with the community which means they are a big influences on what I’d term the marginal voter, which is that part of the electorate that turns out to vote only part of the time.
In 2010 about 28,000 voters turned out of the total voting age population of about 100,000. My guess is somewhere about 18-20 thousand of the total would fit the demographic of a chronic voter. Also in that demographic are close to 3,000 SHRS plan participants.
This is all a long winded way of saying that the County Board of Sups has written off somewhere around 10% of the total vote straight out of the gate. It is not an election winning strategy IMHO.
The advice the Sups heeded which in turn lead to my making that comment did not come from a political coms professional or a seasoned political operative IMHO. I think the Sups actions were based on the advice of a lawyer. If an elected official did what was best for their constituents over their own electoral self interest such would be a rarity in my opinion though it does happen on occasion. Continue reading “Credit the retirees as the runoff elections loom…..”