Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Is the D.A.'s office bankrupt?

Its looks like our little District Attorney went whining to the media- again.  Can't manage a budget so he asks the Supervisors to bail his office out of financial trouble. The Clarion-Ledger reported yesterday:


Some Hinds County supervisors say District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith has not been completely transparent about taxpayer money his agency is spending and can't produce a detailed budget to account for agency purchases.

Smith's office has requested at least $70,000 in additional funds from the county, saying agency is operating "in the negative."....

At this point, the district attorney's office owes the county $64,000 from the worthless check unit, Board of Supervisors president Peggy Calhoun said. Smith said his office also owes a private DNA laboratory another $22,000.

In the Feb. 17 Hinds County board meeting, Smith appealed to the supervisors to give him another $10,000 a month, saying that he's short in both salaries and operating expenses......

He wants more money? He should be able to provide some budget information, right?  Guess again:

The district attorney's office could not provide overall budget numbers at the meeting but did establish that its budget with state and county funds included is over a million dollars. The county contributes $457,895.86 of that.....

In the meeting, the supervisors said they had asked Smith previously for an itemized budget and he had not provided one.

"At the managerial level, you should know in great detail where your deficiencies are," Greer said. "That's why we want to look at the budget to see what line item is the deficiency and find ways to balance it. It's very hard to justify any additional funds after the budget has been finalized without that."

Calhoun said Tuesday that she had met with one of Smith's staff members and was supposed to have those numbers in hand this week. She has not yet received them.....

However, the D.A. did have a ready-made excuse: It's all the mean ole Sheriff's fault: 

Asked why his office is operating in the red, Smith said he had asked for more in the last budget and was denied. He also told supervisors that the Hinds County Sheriff's Department was not giving his office its share of the drug-seized funds.

Smith said that in the past, the district attorney's office has received $65,000 a year from the Sheriff's Department's forfeiture fund. Smith said since Sheriff Tyrone Lewis' administration took over, he's only received $3,000.

Calhoun said Smith had told her he received over $100,000 a year from the Sheriff's Department in the past. But based on numbers she had from the Sheriff's Department, Calhoun said the district attorney's office only received $40,000 between 2008 and 2011.

"That's a big difference," she said.....
 "By state law, you can't budget based on what you expect to seize," Greer said Tuesday. "I'm gonna budget on based on what I think I'm going to make doing drug interdiction and arresting people on the interstate? You can't hang your hat on that; it's not what the law says." Article.
 This was a good article written by Therese Apel.  There are a couple of facts that need to be interjected into this story.  There is one person whom the D.A. did not blame for the lack of seizure money: Circuit Judge Tomie Green. She has been sitting on nearly half a million dollars in forfeiture money for a looooong time now.  Consider it part of her feud with the Sheriff's office.  The D.A. knows this but doesn't say anything about her refusal to approve the funds.   There was a similar sum that was just approved by the courts but it was held for a long time as well.

What the D.A. has not done is formally request the money.  There are certain procedures to go follow if the D.A. wants a share of the money and guess what? They have not been followed. His prosecutors have not filed the required paperwork to get the funds.  If he wants the money, perhaps he should ask for it.  However, its easier just to blame the Sheriff instead of confronting the judge or following the proper procedures.

What is more troubling is the fact that the District Attorney's office apparently has no budget and did not tell Supervisor Calhoun the truth about the budget.  One suspects that the D.A. does not even know how to make a budget.   The D.A. might want to know where his money is or was before he goes asking the board to give him more money.  

One interesting little fact: It was Supervisor Robert Graham who placed his budget request on the agenda for the February 17 meeting.

25 comments:

thusbloggedanderson said...

Look, you plainly have no clue how expensive it is to not-prosecute suspected criminals ... sometimes they have to not-prosecute the same guy four or five times!

Anonymous said...

That is a good story. I find it incredible that the DA cannot produce a budget. How can he ask for more money when he can't show where the money has gone or will go?

Anonymous said...

Apparently he rarely shows up at the office and his ADAs are paid more than the pds. And it takes four years to take a case to trial. Smith is a joke.

Anonymous said...

Having dealt with Smith on many, many prior occasions, it is obvious to myself, and the entire legal community, that he doesn't have a clue as to what is going on. The above poster is correct, Smith is never at the office. I am going to guess that he hasn't handled ten cases in his nearly 8 years in office.

Don't blame the ADAs, they are, for the most part, good prosecutors but everyone up there is afraid to do anything because you never know how Smith is going to react.

Anonymous said...

This board ain't like the old hinds county boards.

Anonymous said...

It ain't cheap being worthless.

Anonymous said...

Stanley Alexander could not have asked for a better public denuding of Smith as a platform to say the office is bankrupt, that he can comply with state law and run the DA's office as it should be. How sweet to have the BOS and the sheriff making the case against Smith for you so it doesn't come off as a personal attack. I think I'll be sending some $ Alexander's way...

exjxnres said...

There sure seems to be a tremendous amount of incompetence in his department.

Anonymous said...

It might be a good time for the State Auditors's Office to look into this, um... situation. But that may about too much like "the right thing to do".

Anonymous said...

Don't worry, it will all even out. After all, Judge Weill is saving the county money.... wait....

Anonymous said...

Is there a procedure for asking the State Auditor into a situation? Or does he just read the papers and say "that sounds like a situation for me to look into"? In order to defeat this incumbent, the overall picture of his poor performance must be spoken of ad nauseum on the local radio talk shows. The lack of a budget will "play" to the audience. The fault that criminals are on the street when they should not be, will "play". Talk of slow and poor prosecution will not. It can be done with the right salesman.

Anonymous said...

^^ Agree with 9:49,

Criminals run wild, budget problems and no leadership skills. Run on that.

Also, does everyone remember that Smith was in bed with Ed Peters during his initial run for DA? Remember that commercial Ed ran for him to drum up all the white support for him over Faye Peterson? I think Alexander should use that as well.

Smif said...

Any citizen can file a complaint with the AG or State Auditor's offices.

Anonymous said...

Someone from the Board of Supervisors needs to request an audit of all funds given to DA Smith to determine if the funds have been misused. The people of Hinds County have the ability to finally get a DA that will be a man that is competent, ethical and will be present in the office! I implore everyone to send Stan Alexander some money so he can put a nail in RSS's coffin and bring respect back to the DAs office. Give the criminals something to fear!

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, it looks like the stupid guy is a better choice than the non-existent guy.

Anonymous said...

Anybody CAN file a complaint with the State Auditor, but that doesn't mean he will do anything with it. Plenty of complaints have been made about the 'previous' board and its leader, Ltf Graham and all his sheninagins with various expenditures (for example, Airwaves). But the State Auditor has chosen not to tackle the supervisors in the state. Wonder if he will take on a DA. Don't hold your breath.

Anonymous said...

We are living the nightmare of a collapse in intelligence compounded with an increase in entitlements.

RSS was an incompetent practitioner. He is equally incompetent as a leader of prosecutors.

The upshot is, his ignorance and stupidity make for excellent defenses to criminal cases which, in turn, leads to interesting posts about his ineptness right here.

So sit back and watch the silliness....and buy some guys while you are at it.

Anonymous said...

An example of mis-managing funds... An investigator with the DA's office was given a raise by Smith to drop out of the race against a constable that Smith supports.

Sun 'n' Sand said...

Most of us are credits but Smith is definitely a debit.

Remains In Office said...

We've heard both sides of the coin. On the edge of the coin is the fact that the criminals want Eyebrow-Man to remain in office. And every criminal and would-be criminal has 25 relatives who vote.

Anonymous said...

Ms.Mary ,please come in fast.

Raize Dat Brow said...

4:17; Please define what you mean by 'a collapse of intelligence'. For something to collapse requires, first, that it exist.

Just $Saying said...

Not surprised most employees only work part time for a full time salary to see this all you need to do is view the reserved parking spaces behind courthouse,vacant a lot unless they have let others use their space,one reason most cases are put off time & time again. The judges are as bad or worse, most have no dedicated work ethic. We need to get a signed pledge to work Full time before voting for anyone.

Anonymous said...

So Robert Smith gave an employee a raise so the employee would not run against an incumbent constable Smith supports?

That does sound like a serious misuse of county money.

Anonymous said...

Robert Smith is the best thing to ever happen for the criminal element of Hinds County and the Hinds County Public Defenders who, likewise, get paid public tax $$$ to "represent" said element. Additionally the Judges get to grant many Orders of Continuance and the good times keep on rolling along...

Suscribe to latest on JJ.

Recent Comments

Search Jackson Jambalaya

Loading...

Subscribe to JJ's Youtube channel

Who is the hottest reporter?

Archives

Who is the Hottest Reporter in Jackson?

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
.