Sunday, February 21, 2016

Waaaaaaaaaaaaah

Attorney General Jim Hood apparently can't stand any competition.  He issued this press release last week:

Attorney General Jim Hood issued the following statement today after the House Judiciary-A Committee’s vote in favor of HB 944, sponsored by the committee's chairman, which would grant the state auditor unprecedented authority to request wiretaps, investigate certain cases, hire outside counsel and impanel grand juries.


“The bill sponsored by the chairman of House Judiciary-A is nothing more than petty partisan politics. My staff never had the opportunity to testify in committee against a proposal that may circumvent state law and violate the separation of powers.

“For the nearly 200 years of our state’s existence, the Attorney General has served as the state’s chief legal officer. While serving in that role, I have repeatedly requested that the Legislature grant my office wiretap authority, only to see those bills die session after session. Now, in this brazen political stunt, this bill takes identical language from my draft legislation and gives that authority to the auditor, who has no experience as a prosecutor and is not permitted by state law and court rule to attend grand jury proceedings.

“It is my hope that the full House will reject this bill and will see the proposal for what it is: Politicians playing partisan games with the people’s money and time.”

Well, perhaps Mr. Hood should try doing his job.  The running joke over at the offices of the Auditor and the Secretary of State is that criminal referrals disappear into a black hole once they  make it to the Sillers Building.  if anything, the bill does not go far enough as the Securities Division of the Secretary of State should be given prosecution powers as well.  The Steadivest case was referred to the AG's office where it just.... disappeared. 

The State Auditor can refer a case to a District Attorney or the Attorney General for prosecution.  The current State Auditor has referred over a dozen cases to District Attorneys for criminal prosecution that just sit there.... collecting dust.  Kind of like Cliff Torrence's file in Judge Breland's courtroom. 

Mississippi is the most corrupt state in the nation.   If anything, we need more prosecutors, not less.  Mr. Hood comes off as a partisan who is upset that he won't be able to control investigations any longer.  That, however, is a good thing. 

Didn't Ray Mabus have prosecution powers as State Auditor? If so, how come the Democrats don't talk about restoring such powers?

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Securities Division definitely needs law enforcement powers. We're behind there.

Anonymous said...

spreading enforcement power among agencies that don't have qualified investigators is a mistake. legislation requiring the AG to investigate information supplied by other agencies will suffice. this is simply an end run by republicans since they can't defeat hood in an election and probably never will. btw, I'm a retired republican prosecutor...

Anonymous said...

this is simply an end run by republicans since they can't defeat hood in an election and probably never will.

Don't matter. Super majorities in both bodies and a Republican Governor. EXACTLY the same thing the Nat'l Party says they need to get ANYTHING done.

btw, I'm a retired republican prosecutor...

Needless Appeal to Authority. FALLACY.

Anonymous said...

Did our 'chief legal officer' really say this would defy "separation of powers"? Isn't the AG part of the Executive Branch? Isn't the Auditor part of the Executive Branch? How does he figure this would violate separation of powers? Maybe he wasn't referring to the term as used in constitutional language. Maybe he means that is would separate HIS power to protect HIS buddies, like he has been doing for years and allow others to prosecute those that he has tried to keep separate from the courtroom and hoosegow

Kingfish said...

yet having hearing officer and prosecutor from AG's office is fine. ;-)

Anonymous said...

When he was auditor, I met with Phil Bryant and provided ample documentation of malfeasance concerning a public board in the Delta that was controlled by Benny. This particular board has taxing authority which is the only reason Benny made sure he controlled it. Bryant agreed that there was plenty of evidence to initiate an investigation but as long as Hood was in office this evidence would go nowhere.

Anonymous said...

The AG made a good point, the Auditor by rule of court and MS Law cannot attend a Grand Jury. The AG also said something stupid, "separations of powers" both the AG and the auditor are in the executive branch. As far as cases being deferred to the AGO and DA's across the state and nothing happening, consider this, the Auditor may be deferring crap to the AGO and DA's. Just maybe the Auditor doesn't know what a prosecutable crime is or isn't. I don't want the either one of them to have wiretap authority!

Anonymous said...

Weird. Our attorney general can't use wiretaps??

Anonymous said...

It is the good old boy system of government. Elected officials take care of their own. Also, if they prosecute an elected official, then they are scared it will cost them politically due to upsetting the elected official, his peers and cronies. I have presented evidence of public official theft on several occasions and it has gone nowhere.

Anonymous said...

No one cares if politicians are crooked. They keep electing them anyway. Some are even more respected because of their crimes.
We have a problem with people with low morals voting in the same type person.

Anonymous said...

8:09 - don't you understand. The "rule of law" is set by 'law'. With this 'law' change, the Auditor could do just those things that you point out correctly he can't do - NOW! With a change, he could then do them.

Anonymous said...

I personally have handed the AG's office a proverbial smoking of judicial corruption. The information was all given to Jerry Spell, an investigator with the office. His comment was that all of the information had to go to "the lawyers" and THEY would decide if there would be action taken. There wasn't.

Anonymous said...

In Mississippi we elect an insurance commissioner, agriculture commissioner, auditor, a Lt Governor whose only material function is to be leader of the MS Senate and three transportation commissioners. Does anyone else think that part of the solution is to make these posts (and maybe the AG post as well) positions appointed by the Governor?

Anonymous said...

I have also on several occasions reported documented criminal activity by state agencies to the AG's office, but no action was taken. I can't believe Jim Hood is still in office - he doesn't seem very bright, quite frankly - but I guess that's what we should expect from professional politicians.

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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.

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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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