Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Remember that Justice Department report on the jail? U.S. Attorney's sister fired by Sheriff.

The Justice Department investigated the Hinds County detention facilities and issued a report last month that sharply criticized the county over its treatment of inmates.  The media  picked up the report and ran with it as they had themselves a story.  Nothing like the thought of a Mississippi Sheriff mistreating inmates to get a headline.  However, there is always a "rest of the story".  The Rest of the story in this case is the sister of the U.S. Attorney was fired by Hinds County Sheriff Tyrone Lewis and currently has an active lawsuit related to her firing in Hinds County Circuit Court.  Earlier post with copy of Justice Department report.

U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi Greg Davis stated in a Justice Department press release accompanying the report on May 21:

 “The Hinds County detention facilities have an obligation to provide conditions of confinement that do not offend the Constitution,” said U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Davis of the Southern District of Mississippi.  “This office will work with the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice to address and remedy the violations revealed by the investigation.”
 However, Mr. Davis's sister was fired by Sheriff Lewis two years ago in July 2013.  Karen Smith, the sister of the U.S. Attorney, worked in the Warrants Division of the HCSO as an administrative assistant.  The Mississippi Department of Employment Security denied her unemployment benefits based upon information received from the Hinds County Sheriff's Office.  Ms. Smith filed a lawsuit against MDES in January 2014.*  The MDES brief quotes the Administrative Law Judge's findings: 

(Smith) went to the medical department to personally check on an inmate due to the concern for his welfare.  Claimant spoke to the inmate without proper authorization. 

The chief deputy provided first-hand testimony that he was on a three-way call with the inmate's mother and listened to the claimant allow the inmate to use her cell phone to call his mother.  Claimant was giving them legal advice to use the HCSO.

The claimant was not a police officer.  She is an administrative assistant, and should not have been in the medical area.  The employer provided a witness who works in the medical area who testified claimant was in medical area and checked on inmate.  Also, no one is to allow an inmate to use their cellphone.  She violated the breach of integrity policy and was terminated on July 24, 2013.

 Ms. Smith disputes these findings and argues the inmate did not use her cellphone and that the Sheriff's office never established that it was indeed her cellphone.  She also claimed that she went to the area to get her blood pressure checked by medical personnel.  HCSO sources said employees are supposed to use the services offered by their personal physicians as covered by insurance instead of using medical services meant for inmates.

Ms. Smith is also a supporter of Hinds County Sheriff candidate Victor Mason as seen in these campaign photos:

*The last filing in the case was December 2014.  Attorney Lisa Ross represents Ms. Smith.  The case was assigned to Circuit Judge Jeff Weill but Ms. Smith filed a motion to recuse in December as the Sheriff endorsed the Judge in his recent campaign for re-election. (Kingfish note: It is hard to see how any Hinds County circuit judge can hear this case considering the Sheriff sparred with them in the Mississippi Supreme Court over the bailiffs issue.  Judge Gowan wrote a brief defending Judge Green and adverse to the Sheriff. Judge Kidd sided with Judge Green as well.)

Kingfish note:  Those were the facts, now for the opinion.  U.S. Attorney Greg Davis should have recused himself from the Justice Department investigation and damn sure should not have made a statement used in a press release.  There is a little snippet of language in the code of ethics about appearances of conflicts of interest or impropriety.  Staying involved with an investigation into the administration that fired his sister and is involved in a lawsuit casts a certain appearance that should be avoided by the U.S. Attorney.  

It should be noted that although Ms. Smith is a supporter of one of the Sheriff's opponents, the story is about the U.S. Attorney and what he did or didn't do, not the campaign or his opponent.  Ms. Smith appeared in some campaign photos but there is no evidence suggesting anything about that particular campaign.   It was the U.S. Attorney who didn't recuse himself from this matter.   It is the U.S. Attorney who must answer the question: Was he using his office to help his sister?  Why didn't he disassociate himself from the investigation?


Anonymous said...

If this was Sweeps Week KF you'd be running the table!

Kingfish said...

There is a good one going up tomorrow.

Major Harpole Finds The Sushi said...

Time WAS, a legitimate U.S. Attorney General would have either known this or would shit can the investigation based on this fact. Unless you're saying the firing came as retaliation, after the report. In either event, the investigating attorney would have had a conflict of interest and would not have been assigned to the case. But, I'm talking 'Time Was'.

Anonymous said...

Clearly screams of impropriety. But the portion of the code of ethics to which I believe you refer is technically silent on relationships with siblings for matters like these. (Sorry, I'm old, I don't html). Should be close enough to have the matter investigated if he didn't get it cleared beforehand.

Anonymous said...

Sheriff Lewis has your support maybe?

Anonymous said...

You cant be serious. If youre suggesting the jd report has less credibility because the USA's sister was fired then please explain the other reports that say the jail is horrible. The JD report simply says what the earlier reports say. Neither incident was retaliation (the firing or the report. Nice try though. Whether you believe it was retaliation of some sort or not everything in that report is true and has been documented elsewhere multiple times by independent sources. People like 1:36 who only get their news from this site will believe whatever you tell them and don't care to be informed. Others know better.

Anonymous said...

Davis had NOTHING to do with the DOJ Investigation. NOTHING. This was handled out of DC. Literally nothing to see here.

Anonymous said...

what a feeble attempt to rehabilitate Tyrone's tenure. To suggest that a sitting U.S. Attorney would fabricate a critical report to retaliate for his sister losing [justly it sounds] a second rate job is beyond ludicrous. As a previous poster queried, does anyone think anything in that report is not factual? We have seen video of the inside of that jail and seen funerals for people killed in that jail. That jail is worse than a zoo and, to give Tyrone some credit, has been for a long time prior to his term of office; but the crap has hit the fan on his watch. Despite attempts by the BOS and Judge Green to find some solutions, Tyrone has done nothing effective other than whine that he needs money or a new jail when neither is available. I have speculated to others that eventually the Justice Department would intervene and it has. Tyrone is going to lose all authority over the jails when a federal overseer is appointed and given the Hinds County checkbook to fix the problems without local political interference.

This really should have been a paid ad KF.

Anonymous said...

Then why are you here @3:40 PM?

Kingfish said...

The Sheriff and main challenger are both big boys and don't need my help. I've published every report on the jail and almost, if not, all stories on escapes. There has been no sugar coating over here. You've even gotten straight video and pictures of the jail as well. Try again.

Anonymous said...

So Greg Davis got the USDOJ Civil Rights Division to come down from D.C. to investigate Hinds County jails to avenge his sister, one of hundreds fired by Tyrone Lewis since he became sheriff?

That's the "rest of the story"????

Meanwhile, you ignored the Raymond jail riot last week where two deputies got shanked in the head and neck.

And I haven't seen anything on this blog about Tyrone's hilarious Guns for Gas fiasco.

When Tyrone Lewis's next riot/escape/turkeyleg/excuse gets in the news later this week, will you have something to say about it?

Are you planning to comment on the MILLIONS AND MILLIONS of dollars the coming federal jail consent decree will cost Hinds County taxpayers?

Anonymous said...

The sheriff never address the real issue(s). He constantly deflects, skirts the issues, points the finger at others, or simply denies a problem even exists! People stop allowing this man to treat us like mindless dolts! He needs to be held accountable for the problems which are evident at the Raymond Facility. Lawsuit or not! Firing or not! Mother, brother, sister, cousin who cares? The problems still exist. And that my friends is the bottom line!!!

Anonymous said...

Because Stone Cold said so!!!!!

Anonymous said...

KF needs to get his nose out of Tyrone's crack.

Anonymous said...

"Ms. Smith disputes these findings and argues the inmate did not use her cellphone and that the Sheriff's office never established that it was indeed her cellphone. "

Uh, if this was two years ago (or more) has anyone subpoenaed her phone records to establish this easily confirmable or refutable statement of fact? If not, why the delay?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


Major Harpole Finds The Sushi said...

You people don't understand. It's not a matter of the report being inaccurate. It's a matter of the appearance of impropriety. Or don't you understand the concept? In a loosely woven correlation, it's like the judge who would sentence the man who killed the judge's wife. See how that works? Not a question of guilt, but of impropriety.

And prayers for the fellow (above) who believes 'a sitting US Attorney would not fabricate' something. My Gawd! The man's a lawyer. And an Obama appointee. How ridiculous to suggest impropriety on his part.

Anonymous said...

Sheriff Tyrone Lewis, you and your spokesperson Mr Cain just lost the intelligent vote of the voters of Hinds County with this story. Anyone with common sense is aware that the US Attorney has nothing to do with the jail investigation!!! Are you saying Sheriff Lewis there is no issues at the Jail and no investigation is needed? You well know the voters who did not come out the last election will come out in droves to unseat you and your incompetent administration.
Sheriff you and your administration are out of control, huddle up and come up with another plan! I suggest have a fish fry.

Anonymous said...

It's evident at least one of you should either learn how to use a dictionary or contact an attorney. . .can you say "libel" and/or "slander"!

Anonymous said...

Sheriff Tyrone Lewis, you and your spokesperson Mr Cain just lost the intelligent vote of the voters of Hinds County with this story.

So, he lost, what, less than 5% of the potential electorate?

Your outrage about turnout "droves" is laughable.

Anonymous said...

Wow, this is a stretch. KF has been towing the line for the sheriff for four years but you've finally been pulled overboard with this one. You lose credibility with this tin foil tale. Don't have anything else to add that the earlier posters haven't said.

Anonymous said...

To the blogger above who seems more concerned with whom investigated what rather than the results of that investigation, you know the real issue. . .you might want to contact one of those people whom you seem to have so little trust in attorneys, or at the very least pick up a dictionary once in a while - before you make comments about someone's character - "libel" and/or "slander"!

Anonymous said...

After reading this story I suggest that on August 4 the people of Hinds County fire Othor Cain and Tyrone Lewis.

Kingfish said...

Want to push a candidate and post their website? Buy an ad. Not fair to Victor Mason and Tyrone Lewis.

Anonymous said...

My mistake KF, I thought this was a news site, not pay per view. Since you mentioned Lewis, and his alleged "biggest competition" Mason (laughable), I just thought you might want to mention the others in the race. You see, there is lies the problem, I thought this was a legitimate news source. I can't wait to mention to several other campaigns in the area that you'll write a story on them if they buy an add. Another lingering question is, which candidate bought this story?

Anonymous said...

This is a non story.

Or, it really is a story and then KF has to re-examine every opinion he has had about Judge Weill...

Anonymous said...

to the point of ad nausem...Festus and his team are at it again.

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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.

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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.

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