Monday, December 7, 2015

Chandler leaving bench to run DHHS

Governator Phil Bryant issued the following statement:

Chandler named Division of Family and Children’s Services Executive Director

Governor Phil Bryant announced today that he has named Mississippi Supreme Court Justice David Chandler the Executive Director of The Division of Family and Children’s Services.

The appointment is effective immediately. Chandler will vacate his seat on the court.

In his post, Chandler will oversee the state's child welfare and foster care systems. 

This is the first time the DFCS Executive Director will be a cabinet-level position that reports directly to the Governor. This change is the result of a recent court order in long-running federal litigation.
“I deeply appreciate the trust and confidence Governor Bryant has shown in me by appointing me to this important position,” Chandler said. “It is a distinct honor, and I gladly accept the appointment. It is also a tremendous responsibility. Our Mississippi children who are placed in the care of the state are some of our most precious citizens. They find themselves without a family through no fault of their own, and we must do everything in our power to keep them safe and see that they are afforded proper food, shelter and clothing. We must pursue every avenue available to us to help them find the family that is meant for them. I promise you that this will be my goal and I will work as hard as I know how to accomplish it. I know the Governor is committed to the same.”

Chandler was born in Kosciusko and moved with his family to Weir just before his first year of school. He graduated from Weir High School and then attended Mississippi State University, where he earned his bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in education. Chandler earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of Mississippi School of Law and his Master of Laws in the Judicial Process from the University of Virginia School of Law.

“I am extremely pleased that Justice Chandler is taking on this critical role,” Governor Bryant said. “His experience and ability will be invaluable in making sure our foster care system operates safely and efficiently.”  

Chandler spent the first 20 years of his professional career in education. For approximately 10 years, he served as a teacher, counselor, school psychometrist and administrator with the Choctaw County public schools. Chandler then moved to the college level, where he served as a research and curriculum specialist at Mississippi State University. In this capacity, he directed the development of curriculum material for secondary and post-secondary work force training programs. His work was designed to provide a more skilled workforce in order to attract business and industry to Mississippi.
Following law school, Chandler practiced law in Tupelo. In January 2000, his law firm opened a branch office in Choctaw County, where he served as the attorney for the Board of Supervisors, a position he held until beginning his service on the Mississippi Court of Appeals in January 2001. He also served as municipal judge for his hometown of Weir from 1999 until beginning work on the appellate court.

Chandler was elected to the Mississippi Court of Appeals in November 2000, and re-elected, without opposition, in 2006. After serving as a judge on the Court of Appeals for eight years, he was elected to the Mississippi Supreme Court. He commenced his duties as a Supreme Court justice on January 1, 2009.

Chandler has served on numerous committees, including chairman of the Court of Appeals Rules Committee and co-chairman of the Professionalism Committee of the Mississippi Bar, as well as serving as a member of the Supreme Court Committee on Administrative and Related Matters. He presently serves as chair of the Mississippi Continuing Judicial Education Committee. He serves as adjunct professor at Mississippi College School of Law, where he teaches judicial administration, and he is a member of the Charles Clark Inns of Court. He was named the 2010 Alumnus of the Year by the Mississippi State University College of Education.

Throughout his career, Chandler has authored professional articles in the field of education as well as in the legal field. In July 2007, Chandler had published an article in the professional journal for Mississippi Bar members. The article addressed methods of improving professionalism among lawyers. His thesis for his LLM degree consisted of a comprehensive analysis of Mississippi statutory law pertaining to acts of violence committed on school property. Since becoming a member of the appellate courts of Mississippi, Chandler has authored well over 600 opinions.

Chandler is a member of the Tupelo Bar Association, the Mississippi Bar and the American Bar Association. He and his wife, Glenda, reside in Louisville, where they are members of First United Methodist Church. Chandler will start serving on the church’s board of directors in January. He is the proud father of two sons.


Anonymous said...

This is a ridiculous appointment. Chandler has been on the Supreme Court for years and has never shown any interest in issues involving children. He has no experience that will enable him to do this incredibly challenging job. It appears Chandler was looking for a place to make a soft landing since he would be going into the final year of his term. If he doesn't work any harder in this position than he did on the Supreme Court, it will be an unmitigated disaster.

Anonymous said...

If the app't is effective immediately, I would expect separation-of-powers issue to make it unconstitutional for Chandler to perform ANY further duties on the Court.

But since the Court gets to "the judge of that," who knows.

Anonymous said...

This appointment makes little sense. Must be another reason for it?

Anonymous said...

I tell you what...if I ever need someone to show me how to be an asshole...I am just going to start logging in here first!

My Lord you people wonder MS is dead last.

Anonymous said...

Not agreeing with the appointment, but to 2:05..."Chandler spent the first 20 years of his professional career in education. For approximately 10 years, he served as a teacher, counselor, school psychometrist and administrator with the Choctaw County public schools. "

I wouldn't say he "has never shown any interest in issues involving children."

Pete Perry said...

As is often the case, I have a different opinion than many of the assholes that decide to post on this site. And this is another of those times.

In my opinion, this is a good appointment and Chandler will do a good job trying to rein in the issues in DFCS - although I would bet that most folks who have condemned this appointment don't even know why DFCS has been created as a cabinet-level agency and out of the DHS. (Research assignment for the evening - Olivia Y. Google it.)

Chandler's first career, prior to law school and eventually being elected to the COA, was as an educator and school administrator. The fact that he "hasn't involved himself in children's issues' while on the court speaks good of him, not bad. As a Justice, he isn't supposed to "involve himself" in issues that might come before the court. But his life and his career have shown himself capable to handle this administrative position. Congratulations, Mr. Justice.

Anonymous said...

Pete settle down. Have you not figured out yet that this site is overrun by wanna bees that ain't ever done shit in their lives....just anonymously blog here and be pricks in general... (like I am doing)??

Anonymous said...

This is 2:05 and obviously my reference to his lack of interest in children's issues is during his time on the court. At least that is what the sentence says....

Anonymous said...

Pete, you are a good and loyal Republican but you don't know whereof you speak. Judges throughout our state get involved on commissions and task forces related to children and youth all the time. Chandler did not do any of that. His years on the court have been wholly without distinction.

Anonymous said...

I'm willing to give Mr. Chandler a choice, my Prayer is that he can sift the crap and understand that the problem with DFCS is the leadership. They are putting people in leadership positions based on who they like instead of who actually qualify for the position. Most of these people have been in leadership roles for years and nothing has change. Mr. Chandler, please step in and make it better for our children.

Pete Perry said...

3:57, I'll give you that Judges can get involved in commissions - or civic groups - I read the earlier comment too specifically I guess as to what he has done since he became a Judge/Justice and things that come before the court - which there has been plenty of over the years. But - probably similar to the person making the original comment - I'm not sure of all the outside activities (church, civic, task force, etc.) of Chandler or the other Judges. But I am aware of his professional life which was the intent of my comment.

And to 3:43 - well said. I will try to keep that in mind.

Name Two Bullet Points on The Job Description, Gov. said...

I may have missed it in my reading of the leading post, but what happened to the person who held this job before this appointment.

Filling these plum jobs are a governor's fondest moments. Going back several governors, once you get these positions out from under commissions and personnel board oversight, you have clear sailing to appoint buddies and grease the skids to really nice PERS retirements. This is nothing other than that.

Phil Bryant doesn't give one whit in hell about this agency or it's productivity or service to children. But he, like all previous governors, can talk a good game.

Anonymous said...

It is interesting that Mr. Chandler's son was responsible for announcing his dad's appointment because he was just appointed the governor's spokesman.

Pete Perry said...

5:50, this position did not exist prior to Judge Chandler's appointment. There was a division director within MDHS that had responsibility for these matters, but as part of the settlement of a very prolonged lawsuit this new position was created. I think it would be a fair assumption to believe that the plantiffs in the lawsuit had vetted the appointment of the newly created position along with the Governor. If you think this is going to be a 'plum appointment' with little or no responsibility, you need to education yourself on the history. If you think that Gov Byrant doesn't give 'one whit in hell' you really need to study the history and background. But, like so many of the folks who comment here, I doubt you would know where to start this education, or that you even care. All you want to do is bitch.

Anonymous said...

What a step down, Going from the top legal job in the State to a MDHS type job.

Name Two Bullet Points On The Job Description, Governor... said...

Pete suggests I need to 'education myself' (sic). Well maybe so. I know more about gubernatorial appointments to plum jobs than Perry will EVER know. He's a yapper who loves the limelight and loves to run his yap about any and every subject. Maybe Bryant should have appointed Petie to be his personal spokesperson.

Petie seems lately to quickly get his draws in a wad and launch off in all directions in a heated fit of immaturity. He's involved in a personal struggle to avoid irrelevancy....a struggle he has already lost.

Anonymous said...

So insomniac at 5:10. You get your "relevancy" by anonymous posts on a useless blog?? #growup

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