Thursday, January 20, 2011

Hinds Supes sneak paying NAACP head $40,000 for redistricting into meeting

Did you know that Hinds County just awarded $40,000 to Derrick Johnson to handle redistricting for the county? Neither did anyone else as the item was not included in the agenda for the December 20, 2010 meeting but was brought up at the end of the session (Copy of Agenda) with no notice to the public. Minutes from the meeting state Supervisor Robert Graham made a motion"

"to approve entering into a contract with D. L. Johnson Consultants, LLC, for $40,000.00, to perform redistricting for Hinds County using the 2010 census, pending Board Attorney approval." (See page nine of minutes posted below)

The motion passed unanimously. Supervisor Phil Fisher is away on military duty.

What is interesting is the cost of the redistricting for the county. Central Mississippi Planning & Development District charged less than $18,000 ten years ago to redistrict Hinds County (See page 8). Madison County signed a contract last year to pay Central Mississippi $20,000 for redistricting (Clarke Holmes of CMPDD expressly refused to comment. Calls to Hinds County officials were not returned as well.). Derrick Johnson, who also serves as President of the Mississippi NAACP, has operated D.L. Johnson Consultants, LLC since 2001. Mr. Johnson promotes his redistricting expertise in pursuing redistricting contracts. The question must be asked why Hinds County is paying Mr. Johnson substantially more money than it paid ten years ago or what other counties currently pay.

Looks like voters in Clinton and NE Jackson are in for a redistricting ride. Kingfish note (2/14/19): The city of Jackson hired Mr. Johnson to perform redistricting during the same year.   However, the City Council put out the contract for bid.  Three companies submitted proposals.  The City Council hired Mr. Johnson but at a cost that was $20,000 less than what Hinds County paid for it's no bid contract. 

A complaint was submitted to the State Auditor at the time.  However, the attorney assigned to the office, Melissa Patterson (yes, that Melissa Patterson), spiked the complaint and said there was no violation. 






29 comments:

Anonymous said...

$40,000 is a lot of sneaking....

Anonymous said...

Johnson is who they hire to draw districts that protect incumbent Democrats like the Jackson based representatives of Districts 2 and 5 who need gerrymandered Jackson area precincts in order to tilt district-wide votes in their favor.

Don't forget KF that Johnson also did the redistricting for Jackson last time around. Would be surprised if Harvey didn't hire him again. No doubt that Kenny Stokes will renew his call to consolidate the white neighborhoods in Wards 1 and 7 into one ward with one white representative.

Anonymous said...

Robert Graham is a joke.

Raymond Engineer said...

For the lawyers out there. Is it not a open conflict of interest for a leader of a political organization to do consulting on redrawing Supervisor districts? He is not just a member, he is the head of it in MS.

Anonymous said...

It's also an open conflict of interest for legislators to redraw their OWN district lines, a much more aggregious one. But they still get to do it!

Darryl Hamilton said...

What would be the benefit to the NAACP to redraw district lines? The benefit belongs to the supervisors/councilmen who may seem volumetric changes in their district/wards...therefore, I can't see this as a conflict of interest.

What is an issue is the cost as KF pointed out. Why is it twice the cost of a neighboring county? Now, does Graham and Johnson have some behind-the-scene thing going on? That would be interesting...

Anonymous said...

What the HELL ?? this is an outrage.

Anonymous said...

Is anyone really surprised by this action? Rather SOP for them, wouldn't you say?
They seem to be making their own rules without any hesitation.
Isn't that what dictators do?

Darryl Hamilton said...

I wonder who the Board of Supervisors report to. I truly have no idea. Whoever it is clearly condones this activity and, therefore, some questioning should take place with that individual...

I don't think that anybody is necessarily surprised by this action, anon@3:56, but this is yet again something that our good KF has uncovered that should rile some folks up.

Anonymous said...

The Hinds Board of Sups reports to the voters and therein lies one of the key problems. The Supervisor districts are gerrymandered in such a way that elections for four of the five districts hinge too much on the votes in Jackson precincts. In other words, the same voters that have let Jackson go to hell have an inordinate voice in Hinds County elections and Hinds business -- especially in Districts 2 and 5. Hiring NAACP head Johnson means little will change. In other words, Hinds will continue to be dysfunctional and population will continue to leave the County for locations where competence can be found.

Darryl Hamilton said...

Anon@5:09, my thanks for clearing that up. If, and I guess we can assume that it is so, Johnson cannot perform his duties as a contractor to Hinds County without letting his NAACP involvement influencing is line-drawing, then he clearly shouldn't be allowed to do it. My thing all along is that, somehow, Graham and Johnson are in it for other, less obvious reasons.

Anonymous said...

This isn't about protecting incumbents. This is about minimizing the role of an already vastly outnumbered white vote. Can you imagine the outrage if Madison County hired the head of the Conservative Citizens Council to handle redistricting? As a white Hinds County taxpayer, this literally makes me want to puke.

Anonymous said...

We better get out while we still can. Our type no longer seem welcome here.

Anonymous said...

Our type no longer seem welcome here.

What type would that be?

Anonymous said...

Way to go KF. Way to expose the wasteful spending practices of Graham and the other Hinds Co Dupes, er, Sups.

WLBT Coverage

Anonymous said...

Kudos Kingfish. Heard this story of yours on two different radio stations this morning while driving to work. You've struck a nerve.

Anonymous said...

KF, did you see that local Senators Alice Harden and John Horhn voted AGAINST strengthening Mississippi's Open Meetings Act? I doubt any righteous indignation will be forthcoming from the Bugle.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said....
It's not right for the state head of the Naacp Mr. Johnson to redraw district lines. His awarded of $40.000 look like Mr. Johnson is paying someone else off for the job.Mr. Johnson is using his Office Naacp head to get over with the people of Mississippi and Hind County .Because the money come from the Justice Dept. and this is unjustice what he's trying to do. The Justice Dept. need to look into all his Bids that Mr. Johnson have did in the past and present. Oh!Yes he is not a attorney because he have not past the bar like other Attorney. Mr. Johson is over biding because he need money. The State Attorney need to look at him.

Anonymous said...

1:21 -- Huh?

Anonymous said...

It is hard to decide what is the most agregious problem with this deal. (1) the fact that a biased, racist individual (yes, I will defend the call of Mr. Johnson as racist) is given the job of redistricting the county - a job that should be done on a nonpartisan and independent basis, or (2) that he is being paid $40k for something that should only cost $10 - $15k.

Ten years ago this cost just under $20k. With the technology changes that have occured over the last decade, this process is much simplier than it was then. Probably can be completed in less than two days work now with the right computer programs. Granted, have to get it printed, published, public meetings, etc. But still should be nowhere near the $20k cost neighboring counties are paying, much less the $40k. Guess when Doug, Robert etc all have to get their cut, maybe it drives the cost up.

Anonymous said...

What can we do? I want to let it be known that as a taxpayer I do not like this careless behavior. The HC had laid off workers and furloughed the others but spend money frivolously.

Anonymous said...

The bigger problem here is that the state remember are learning from Obama on how to be sneaky and using these tactics to pass an agenda. this kind of political strategies need to be stopped for state and federal. what happened to transparency that Obama promised. it is up to republicans to restore the balance and the voters to get these swindlers out of office.

Anonymous said...

I swear bugglers are here trolling... re: above.

Anonymous said...

There are a lot of well-intended people who are making the fall of Jackson (and Hinds County) take longer than it should. One day the city will bounce back, but too many people spend precious time, energy and money trying to prevent the final stages of the fall.

Just get out! Stop enabling this BS with your tax dollars. Who cares what names they call you? You won't be able to hear them from the other side of the county line. You who can leave provide the only value (and thereby the power to the leaders) in their banana republic. Once the city completely collapses people can go back in and create something from the rubble. Until then you're just fighting the tide and giving everyone else a world-class lesson in perpetual masochism.

Anonymous said...

All we need to do to save Jackson is buy an extra steak dinner or two ... or so Brad says.

Anonymous said...

Well, well, well. There is Donna Dupnik featuring a story about a court case asking the Supremes to allow airing of video yet she hasn't reported a thing about Alice Harden and John Horhn voting against improvements in the Open Records Act.

Kaptain Kangaroo said...

Hey. Leave dupes out of this discussion, remember, what you don't know won't hurt one's personal agenda. Ignorance is bliss.

Anonymous said...

NAACP is not a "partisan" political organization; rather it is a civil rights organization. Otherwise, we could end this simply with a Hatch Act.

Since the contract is under the OMB small purchase threshold of $200,000; the County is allowed to follow their established small purchase procedures (whatever those are). If Federal funds are funneled through the State to give to the County (and not directly given from the Feds to the County) the County may have to follow the State procedures for small purchases. For contracts over $200,000, Federal regs require advertisement for bids and award to the lowest qualified bidder.

However, if fraud, waste, and abuse, is suspected, one can always report it to the OIG at the Department of Justice for investigation. This event appears to be very suspect. In my skeptical, personal opinion, I am not so sure even the DOJ's OIG would want to get involved in what could be a potential racial nightmare over a mere $40,000.

It would be interesting to find out what the small purchase procedures are. If the County did not follow their small purchase procedures (or the State's procedures--depending on what entity the funds are dispersed to from the Feds) then there would be clear violation of Federal regulations. If a violation is found after-the-fact, then the Feds can and will pull their money, and the County has to pick up the entire tab of the $40,000. Usually, when after-the-fact violations are found, the taxpayers never know about it, and the governing organization quietly pays the balance.

Anonymous said...

Derrick Johnson AND SMITH are both are on the CMPDD Board of Directors!!! (I read the NS Sun article. I didn't catch this before.) Johnson is in direct competition for personal profit against the non-profit CMPDD, which he serves as one of the board directors for! Smith is also voting to hire someone that is in direct competition against the organization which his is on the Board. Funny how they don't think the are "leaders" for the CMPDD, but don't think the CMPDD is qualified to do the job for half the price.

In addition, the Hinds County Boards of Supervisors are the ones that appoint the CMPDD Board Members. From the meeting minutes on 1/20/2009: "UPON A motion of Douglas Anderson and a second by Robert Graham, Peggy Hobson Calhoun voting aye, Phil Fisher voting aye, George Smith voting aye, it was RESOLVED to re-appoint George Smith, Charlie McLemore, Derrick Johnson to the CMPDD Board of Directors, pending their acceptance. Document affixed hereto and incorporated herein." See page 4 on the link below. Unfortunately, the document was not affixed in the electronic posting of the Minutes.

http://www.co.hinds.ms.us/pgs/boardminutes/docs/01_20_09.pdf

WTF?

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