Friday, June 26, 2015

Reeves sets trial.

U.S. District Judge Carleton Reeves issued trial instructions as he set trial for the August term in McMullin v. Mississippi Department of Public Safety. Ms. McMullin is a Lieutenant at the Mississippi Highway Patrol. She won a round in her battle to prove that Mississippi Highway Patrol Colonel Don Barry discriminated against her when he promoted Master Sergeant Marshall Pack to the vacated position of Training Director. Plaintiff Leftenant Gayle McMullin is white while Colonel Berry and Master Sergeant Pack are black. She argued -and two courts agreed- she was better qualified for the job. U.S. District Judge Carleton Reeves dismissed her case with prejudice on a motion for summary judgment but the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed Judge Reeves and ordered him to hold a trial. Judge Reeves is black and a former president of the Magnolia Bar in Jackson. The instructions are posted below.

Earlier posts: 
Is the leadership of the Mississippi Highway Patrol racist?
Defense gets laughed out of court. Literally.


Anonymous said...

So how can the judge be fair and impartial after he has been reversed? Can they not request another judge,jurisdiction or does it really matter? Just curious

Anonymous said...

Looks like MHP may be in a little trouble

Anonymous said...

10:36 - good point; it would be hard to believe that this judge could come to a fair conclusion based on his history with the case and the accompanying animosity he must have toward the higher court for sending the case back. But there may be too many eyes on this case for him to ignore the facts.

In other judicial news - since the SCOTUS has cleared the way for same sex marriage in all states, do you think the trooper and the trucker will get married? I know they've been waiting so they can begin their new life together. Maybe the Commissioner can officiate the ceremony! Perhaps now there's enough ambiguity that he can be married to a man AND a woman (but based on the reports I bet he prefers a MAN).

Anonymous said...

State and federal appellate courts routinely reverse trial courts and almost always return the case to the previously assigned trial judge. While the trial judge may not be happy, he/she usually follows the directives upon return -- especially in federal court.

Judge Reeves may have been wrong, but it is unlikely that he'll get it wrong twice. If he does, that's why the court of appeals exists. Let's set aside the tinfoil hats on this one.

Kingfish said...

Yup. Remands happen all the time. He will follow the opinion, especially when the appellate court laughed at MHP.

Does anyone think the plaintiff will settle at this point?

Anonymous said...

KF - I'm wondering what a settlement might look like. McMullin probably isn't ready to retire and I think it's a matter of pride now and she'll want the position, plus back pay and expenses. But MHP may want to settle in a way that gets her out of their hair...

Anonymous said...

They will not settle. They are not that smart and plus they have legal staff so it isnt costing them anything to fight it. When will we see the Chief of Staff,Mills, mugshot for stealing?

Anonymous said...

@6:19 - you need to file a complaint with the state auditor - oh wait, they won't do anything because its the highway patrol and the person that would start that investigation is a former commissioner. If it's grant money call the federal inspector general hotline - the feds don't play and they don't give a shit about local politics. Posting accusations on this forum and not following up with any will only frustrate you.

Watchin' Reeves Wiggle said...

Human nature being what it is, Reeves is stung and stung bad by this reversal, especially since the reversal made big time news on this blog site and elsewhere. He will NOT be impartial and this is NOT just another day at the courthouse for him. His ass is stung bad. Motion for recusal and assignment to another jurist. He won't fight the motion because he knows damned well he can't be impartial and doesn't want his britches burned again.

Anonymous said...

keep up 7:05 Pickering quietly announced and was published here that Mills was was caught enriching her family but unlike the sheriff recently he didnt release a mug shot. Yes the head of investigations at Pickerings office is a former DPS commissioner and that is probably why it is being handled low key. No mug shot and probably no punishment. She will be allowed to retire and get her $60,000.00 annual state retirement pension. No harm no foul just another crook at DPS.

Anonymous said...

If she gets a $60,000 state pension that would mean she either was making $130,000 or has been on the job for forty years.

Anonymous said...

Well if you are a black trooper the good Colonel will protect you from the state auditor and the Feds...and get you promoted. It's sad to say, but it is definitely happening. Colonel Berry and Commissioner Santa Cruz are ruining a once fine organization. If you speak out against them as a trooper has done you will end up fired for some obscure reason.

Anonymous said...

8:40 just like the legislature MHP gets additional retirement from the State. Do 25 years as a trooper and get 90% of an average of your top five years salary for life.

Anonymous said...

That's not correct 8:22. If you retire at 60, 25 will get you about 47% of your high five. Show me a trooper making 60,000.

Anonymous said...

The highway patrol is useless. Get rid of the uniformed division, keep the crime scene folks and MBI. Law enforcement would not change throughout the state if uniformed troopers went away.

Muldoon said...

The Feds require that each state have a highway patrol, or equivalent, if funds are to flow to the states. But, that's the only purpose served.

Anonymous said...

10:10 you can look on the State Retiremnet site and read the Troopers retirement program. Your numbers are from average state workers not troopers or legislature. Many Troopers that have been there 5 or more years make 50 to 60 thousand dollars a year. They have a base salary but get federal pay for road blocks or "call backs". They can make $300.00 to $500.00 per weekend extra. Also they get a monthly clothing allowance which doesnt figure in on their salary. Now the allowance isnt for the uniform or equipment because that is given to them by DPS free of charge. It is for ANY clothes that they want to but outside the provided uniform and gear.

Anonymous said...

To find Troopers Salaries just look up Senate Bill 2500 which bryant signed. A Staff Sargent makes a min of $50,000 and a Major makes a min of 86,000.00. The colonel makes a min of $112,000.00. Those poor troopers.

Anonymous said...

so after 4 years of college teachers start at $34,000.00. Most troopers have only a high school education and start at $39,000.00. The training Director at MHP who trains all new troopers is fired three times then promoted and makes over $60,000.00. Yep I sure am proud.

Anonymous said...

This is an Executive Agency which reports only to the Gov. He appointed Santa Cruz and Berry so the Gov is where the buck stops. DPS will continue the fight because they want to show others that even if they have a case that DPS will keep it in court for years and ruin you financially and otherwise. What do they have to lose, its the states money that they are spending.

Anonymous said...

The problem with DPS is that there are troopers in some very important positions such as driver's services, intelligence and homeland security - do any of these folks know the first thing about what they're doing, or are they just friends of the commissioner? It seems that the commissioner and chief of staff not only took care of their friends with jobs, cars and promotions, but this is a problem throughout the agency and there's much more to this story than you see on the surface.

Why doesn't the highway patrol stick to its core mission? Also, why hasn't PEER done any work of significance on DPS/MHP, they did some reports on a few issues with the bureau of narcotics, but nothing else. A report from the state auditor is mostly useless as it will be spun politically and certain findings will be buried and individuals will always be protected - look at the difference in how Mills was treated for much worse offenses than was the guy that used his DPS car for personal use. I suppose this is what you get when you have an elected state auditor.

Anonymous said...

My question is this. At what point does this fall at the feet of the Governor who has appointed these two racist, biased individuals to lead DPS/MHP? It's a fact that the Governor knows of the wrong doing going on yet he has not to this day raised a hand to protect the troopers that he publicly has praised. Commissioner Santa Cruz has hurt the troopers repeatedly with his arrogant relationship with the state legislature. EVERYONE knows that with Santa Cruz in charge of DPS the department is suffering. Colonel Berry is no better. He picks and chooses the promotions and the discipline with such bias that there are many cases before the state personnel board of troopers who have been discriminated against or retaliated against by Berry. Again, with Governor Bryant's publicly claimed love for law enforcement, when does his lack of action override his words???

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