Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Floodwaters of scandal continue to rise in Vicksburg

JJ is trying to bring its readers up to speed on the sexual harassment lawsuit against Vicksburg Mayor Paul Winfield, which is in addition to his arrest on federal bribery charges last week. Former Vicksburg Chief of Staff Kenya Burks filed the lawsuit after she was fired by the city. Ms. Burks alleged the mayor had an affair with her and numerous other women while Mayor of Vicksburg. Indeed, the documents filed in court paint a picture of a Mayor who saw himself as some type of Nubian Chief who had the right to sleep with all city employees if Ms. Burks is to be believed. She charges she was terminated after she ended the relationship.

Ms. Burks began her employment shortly after the Mayor took office in July 2009. She alleged the two had an affair while she was working for the city. Ms. Burks said when she tried to end the relationship, the Mayor made more advances towards her and offered her more money. The lawsuit is currently embroiled in a fight over discovery. The plaintiff has been trying for some time to obtain emails and phone records she alleges will show proof of numerous other affairs the Mayor had. The Mayor has been resisting providing such records to the plaintiff. Ms. Burks finally filed a motion to compel and a motion for sanctions against the Mayor.

Mayor Winfield objected on the grounds such discovery was a "fishing expedition" and violated his right to privacy. He said he did not fire her but the board of aldermen voted to fire Ms. Burks. What is interesting is some of the statements the Mayor's lawyer makes while trying to quash discovery:

"Individuals have a reasonable expectation of privacy on their personal cell phones. In fact, a city employee has a right to the expectation of privacy on city computers." (I'm sure that is news to more than a few public employees subjected to public records requests for their emails.)

"Evidence concerning Mayor Winfield’s alleged extra-marital affairs with individuals who do not work for the City of Vicksburg is irrelevant to any aspect of Plaintiff’s claims in this matter."

"Whether or not Mayor Winfield had any extra-marital relationships, as Plaintiff claims, prior to or after being elected is irrelevant to this suit."

The Mayor didn't exactly deny other affairs in an objection to an interrogatory:

"Please identify any extramarital affairs Defendant Winfield has had in the past five (5) years.

RESPONSE: Objection. Defendant objects to this request to the extent it seeks information that is neither relevant to the claims or defenses of any party to this litigation, nor reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible infonnation. FUliher objection is made on the grOUlld that this request is interposed for improper purposes including annoyance and harassment of this Defendant, needlessly increasing the cost of this litigation."

Or this statement while trying to seal the case:

"Even assuming Mayor Winfield had extra-marital relationships, as Plaintiff alleges, any alleged extra-marital affairs with individuals prior to Mayor Winfield being elected Mayor of the City of Vicksburg, have absolutely no relevance to this suit. Furthermore, evidence of extra-marital affairs allegedly occurring after Mayor Winfield was elected also is irrelevant because there is no evidence these alleged affairs were with City of Vicksburg employees – the only “affair” that would be even arguably relevant."

We are arguing over which affairs are relevant, not if the Mayor actually had them? Nice. Ms. Burks then makes more allegations in a memo in support of her motion to compel filed earlier this month:

"Interrogatory No. 6 requests Defendant Winfield to identify his relationship with Jackie Walker. Jackie Walker, Mayor Winfield’s current secretary, is believed to have had a sexual affair with Mayor Winfield while she was employed with the City of Vicksburg......"

"Interrogatory No. 10 requests Defendant Winfield to identify his relationship with Deborah Blake. Ms. Blake is employed by the City of Vicksburg in the city clerk’s office, and is the ex-wife of police officer Randy Blake. It is believed that Mr. Winfield had a relationship with Ms. Blake during the time Mr. Winfield was having a relationship with Plaintiff and after Plaintiff’s employment with City ended. Michael Mayfield, who is an Alderman for the City, has also made mention of this fact on several occasions. See Plaintiff’s Responses to Discovery at p. 22, attached hereto as Exhibit “G.” Mr. Winfield was adamant about firing Randy Blake while Plaintiff was employed by the City of Vicksburg. Plaintiff never understood why because Mr. Winfield would always say that Randy Blake’s godfather/uncle, Mr. Jim Sturgis, was a very close friend and political supporter of Mr. Winfield Then one day, Mr. Winfield revealed to Plaintiff that he thought Randy Blake was less than a man for putting Ms. Blake off child support. At that point, Plaintiff did not know Deborah Blake. Plaintiff asked the question “Well does Randy have custody of his kids?” Mr. Winfield stated, ‘Yes”. And Plaintiff asked, “Well why shouldn’t she be off child support? “ Mr. Winfield responded that Mr. Blake was a weak man and never should have done that to her. He then proceeded to talking about Randy’s current fiancĂ©e’/wife Mary Cole-Rather and how promiscuous she is. Mr. Winfield said that he heard that Mr. Blake did not like him and had been talking negatively about him in the community. Plaintiff asked Mr. Winfield why Mr. Blake did not like him. Mr. Winfield responded that it was because he had slept with both Ms. Blake and Ms. Cole-Rather in the past. Plaintiff responded by saying “Do you realize what you are saying to me?” Mr. Winfield replied, “No, No all of this happened before you.

14. Later Plaintiff was informed that Ms. Blake had to sleep with Mr. Winfield in order to be transferred from the City Water and Gas Department to the Clerk’s Office. Plaintiff was also informed that when questioned as to how she got transferred, Ms. Blake’s answer was “You know Paul is gullible, I had sex with him and he made sure I was transferred to City Hall.”

15. On a separate incident, HR Director Walterine Langford and City Clerk Walter Osborne, were reportedly having a conversation in the Clerk’s office. Plaintiff has been informed that during this conversation (between Walterine Langford and Walter Osborne), Ms. Blake kept chiming in with facts about Mayor Winfield’s personal and financial life. Apparently, Ms. Langford found this conversation to be strange and asked Mr. Osborne, “How does Deborah know so much about the Mayor’s personal life?” Mr. Osborne then responded, “You know Deborah is sleeping with the Mayor now.”

 However, the Mayor finally responded by arguing in a motion to strike filed two weeks ago:

"Burks' motion to compel, together with its supporting "Memorandum" and Exhibits, should be stricken on the grounds that they are filled with defamatory statements, unfounded accusations of fornication, and other scandalous behavior by the Mayor and private citizens having no connection to this litigation.  In spite of the Court's admonitions, Burks filed her motion to compel relying on nothing more than lies, innuendos, speculation, unsworn statements, rumors, and rank hearsay."

He also accused of her "manipulating the media" by making unfounded and defamatory statements in her court filings.  Regardless of who is right, one most wonder what exactly is going on over there in Vicksburg?



Anonymous said...

JJ needs to have a contest to select appropriate background music to accompany the reading of this stuff. May I suggest Harper Valley PTA?

Anonymous said...

What is going on? Incompetent banana republic government. Think of it as Zimbabwe on the Mississippi.

Anonymous said...

"Nubian Chief"? Certain racial overtones there. Sounds more like a white Mississippi sheriff circa 1960.

Anonymous said...

I think that it is a crime that elected officials that get caught breaking laws don't have to clean out their offices and go to the house (or jail) in a timely maner. Based on what I have read about this clown they are going to have to DRAG him out by his feet!

KaptKangaroo said...

Popcorn, check. Cued up Harper Valley PTA (nice), check. EZ chair, check. Bring on the drama. We haven't had a good scandal as of late. This one appears to be promising.

Anonymous said...

OK lets drop Nubian Chief to be fair and refer to is actions as those of a Washington DC Mayor.Where is the coke? You be my womens!

Ophelia said...

So, parents can name a girlchile "Kenya" and that's just dandy...but to dare whisper the term "Nubian" is naughty? *sigh*...only in Vicksbabwe...

Anonymous said...

Harper Valley PTA is too white, like baseball (according to Harvey Johnson)

Ophelia said...

Yes, HV PTA mighty, mighty whitey. How 'bout this for (soon-to-be-ex) Mayor Winfield?

KaptKangaroo said...

Strike that, cuing up Barrett!!!

exjxnres said...

I don't know why she got so upset, he already established WHAT she was/is, he was just haggling about the cost. Obviously, he did not offer enough to keep her happy...

Anonymous said...

Ophelia; Here's your clue....A 'Nubian chief' is a powerful negro tribal leader. The comparison is too obvious.

This isn't a racial issue. It's a Southern novella about a sports star, power, opportunity and crime. Besides, one of the players just mentioned in the lawyer's document (above) is a woman of color who married a white gentleman, further adding reality to the novella.

So, while this circus has many clowns, they all are painted so as to disguise race. Only one of the clowns has multiple outfits in his closet and that is Mr. Winfield.

Anonymous said...

you guys aren't going to make any hay/wild assertions out of the fact that twitwell's firm (albeit judge gibbs would be the contact) is defending winfield? c'mon--that is the type of stuff i have grown to love about this blog.

Kingfish said...

And I have referred to quite a few white people as barbarians on this website, a term that came out of the past as well.

If the allegations are indeed true, are there any indications he didn't act like one where he thought the city was his playtoy and the female employees were his property?

Anonymous said...

You should post the questions and her answers to the Interrogatories that Quinton Whitwell and Gibbs asked her on behalf of the Mayor
. She thoroughly answered every question, but Mayor Winfield refuses to answer his. Now that is some good reading.

Anonymous said...

We have a second on 2:28's request.

The questions not asked will be just as interesting as those asked and answered.

Anonymous said...

I read all of it- All 30 pages. And either she is a fortune teller or she told the truth. Because most of what she wrote last year came true this year. And it is strange that the Mayor can use taxpayer funds to pay his personal attorney fees. Especially when he is an employee of that Law Firm. The Mayor works for Gibbs Whitwell. He was involved in a faulty bond deal last year as an employee of GibbsWhitwell. And this was after the lawsuit was filed.

Anonymous said...

Interesting the number of Ole Miss blogs that are denying any memory of this guy. Most are saying they don't recall him, a few are denying he came off the bench and others are asking "WHO"?

Suscribe to latest on JJ.

Recent Comments

Search Jackson Jambalaya

Subscribe to JJ's Youtube channel


Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS