ICYMI: Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Reverses Singing River Pension Settlement

The part the appellate panel at the 5th Circuit didn’t like involved how the attorney fees were paid out in relation to the financial risk assumed by the Singing River Pension retirees among other things. It goes back to Judge Guirola’s Courtroom per below:

Click to obtain full 29 page decision
Click to obtain full 29 page decision

TransportRoom Continue reading “ICYMI: Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Reverses Singing River Pension Settlement”

Fanfare for the common man: The only people getting 100% on the dollar in the Singing River Pension Debacle are the Lawyers

This is one of those circumstances where it is again good to have a variety of viewpoints on a news item because one could watch the Tee Vee news here on the Coast1 and come away thinking the Singing River Retirees have been made 100% whole but unfortunately this is wishful thinking. Shearing the flock has to be done in stages and now the stage shifts from the Federal Courthouse in Gulfport back to Chancery Court in Jackson County where the actual haircuts will occur.

The certainty in that statement lies in the dollars and cents currently in the plan’s trust account and the fact that the early payment schedule provided for in the settlement does not provide much immediate help to improve the overall financial condition of the trust. The only immediate benefit is non-monetary benefit in the finality and closure provided by the settlement itself.

From a larger standpoint and viewed through the lens of time the Singing River Pension Debacle is just the latest in a long line ‘incidents’ where the ordinary people in the community get sheared for the benefit of portions of the Jackson County political oligarchy.  Slabbed has documented several of these incidents including one of the most recent on these pages.  The financial results of these ‘incidents’ are on display for everyone around Jackson County to see at locales such as 435 East Beach in Ocean Springs.  For the folks in Jackson County, the regularity of these ‘incidents’ paid for by the public, or in this instance by both the public and the Singing River Retirees, represent the worse kind of tax imaginable because it is a hidden tax paid to the benefit of the few.

In the case of the Singing River Health System, the most galling aspect of this whole saga for the retirees is that a large portion of the very people that brought the County and the SRHS retirees this pension disaster remain firmly attached to the Health System, ostensibly skipping away as if nothing happened.  For the new SRHS trustees, I frankly can’t fathom on what basis they have to actually trust the advice they are being given to support their decision making. You gotta think based on what has occurred that in the next disaster they’ll be tossed aside as easily as their predecessors. Continue reading “Fanfare for the common man: The only people getting 100% on the dollar in the Singing River Pension Debacle are the Lawyers”

FUBAR: A Jackson County Political Tradition

More than anything else the events of this week revealed exactly why the Jackson County Board of Supervisors hired Billy Guice. Campaign season can no longer be put on hold for incumbent Supervisors, who hired Guice to run interference for them, ultimately using Guice to throw their own political appointees under the bus in one last effort to save their jobs. The cost to the taxpayers for this political expenditure is $345,000 and counting. I’m fairly certain the retirees that are fixing to get screwed are not very happy with Guice’s recounting of the obvious for the Sups, which has been covered in detail on both these pages as well as the Sun Herald for the past 7 plus months.

Let’s start with the Sun Herald, which was excluded from Bronco Billy Guice’s Wild West Show, a fact they were clearly unhappy about:

Jackson County has spent $345,000 on SRHS probe ~ Anita Lee

Jackson County taxpayers should have saved their money ~ Sun Herald Editorial Board

A short snippet is in order but the entire Op-Ed is fine reading:

Looks as though the Jackson County Board of Supervisors brokered a deal for the taxpayers to buy a wheelbarrow full of fool’s gold for the low, low price of $345,000.

A subscription to the Sun Herald would have saved the taxpayers a ton of money — we don’t see anything in the report about the investigation into the Singing River Health System pension fund that hasn’t been covered in the paper.

Even better Jackson County taxpayers could have saved the S/H subscription and read up on things right here on Slabbed. 😉

Moving right along WLOX got in on the show with the following report which uncritically parrots Guice’s press release that ran in the Mississippi Press, which coincidentally is also a public relations prelude to screwing the SRHS retirees in my opinion:

Attorney Billy Guice gets on bad side of both SRHS executives and retirees ~ Mike Lacy

Poor Billy Guice had no clue he needed firefighting training before taking on this $345,000 no-bid CONsulting job with Jackson County as we turn our attention next to the Jackson County press release disguised as a trio of new reports which ran yesterday in Pravda, err, I mean the Mississippi Alabama Press: Continue reading “FUBAR: A Jackson County Political Tradition”

Follow the money from 1983 on………

Mainly because I bet the double dealing between SRHS insiders and its pension trust dates back all the way to its inception. Looks like Anita and the commenting community here are on the right track:

Risky business? SRHS retirement plan invested in high-risk, high-fee funds, expert says ~ Anita Lee

And I have this blurb from yesterday’s Sun Herald Op-Ed:

That would end the habit SRHS officials have of treating employees like children, telling them only what they think they should know and deciding when they should know it.

When it comes to transparency in government down here on the coast, the governments that do not treat their taxpayers like children would be the exception rather than the rule:

SUN HERALD | Editorial: Trustees of SRHS demonstrate need for transparency

Meantime last week Kingfish had the Mississippi Hospital Association’s 990 last week while Wayne Weidie opines that the SRHS Cancer of Disgrace has spread from Jackson County to Jackson and the Capitol.

“No one can serve two masters…” A SRHS Conflict of Interest Series Part 1

No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

Slabbed has gone biblical since our Singing River coverage became a hit over in Jackson County with the scripture quoting CEO set there. After all ancient wisdom is the best kind of wisdom thus the post title. All these months later the exact same glaring conflicts of interest still exist with the pension plan. After failing to secretly terminate the pension plan the political set in Jackson County is still searching for an ever elusive financial solution to the ailing finances of the Singing River Health System. Throughout the pension trust has been SRHS management’s captive.

I start today with the conflict of interest on display for all to see as I highlight new SRHS Board of Trustee member Scott Taylor’s first blog post. Taylor’s appointment to the hospital Board of Trustees puts him fundamentally in an interest conflicted position to the financial interest of the pension trust which the Trustees now control. The comments, especially those by Cisco Aguilar, are well worth reading.

In Part 2 Slabbed will examine the underlying litigation and some possible paths out of the financial quagmire.