Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Give Jim Hood some Pace Picante Sauce

A New York federal appeals court slammed Jim Hood . Court documents also show the sister-in-law of the deceased Precious Martin dipping her beak, as she produced what can be termed bogus work for $112,500. Alan Lange covered this case over at Y'all Politics:


The case involved PERS litigation prosecuted by NY law firm and Hood campaign contributor Bernstein Litowitz (BLB&G). First, it’s important to note Bernstein Litowitz’s partners have donated over $100,000 in campaign contributions to Jim Hood since 2005. The firm was engaged on litigation on behalf of PERS in this particular instance in a case involving Satyam.

The dispute stems from one of BLB&G’s lawyers, Bruce Bernstein, suing his law partners over being forced out of his law firm after blowing the whistle on what he believed to be unethical conduct of their firm engaging Vaterria Martin (sister-in-law of the late Precious Martin and wife of then Assistant Attorney General Deshun Martin [Shocker]).  Read the rest of the entertaining post as well as the opinion...
 The cherry on top was Assistant Attorney General George Neville, after hearing about the dispute, penning a letter to Bernstein’s lawyer. It ordered them, according to the opinion, to “keep the existence of the alleged kickback scheme private by writing: 'As counsel for the State of Mississippi . . . and on behalf of the State of Mississippi and its agency MPERS, I am directing [Bernstein] not to disclose any confidential information he learned as counsel to Mississippi and its agency MPERS.'" But for the 2nd Circuit Court's decision, the AG's office doesn't appear as if it would have ever provided the existence of the lawsuit or these details publicly.
Read the opinion.  It spells out the scheme in a bout of illumination rarely appearing in Mississippi politics. 

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Funny how none of AG Hood's friends at the Clarion Ledger are willing to report on this. They have to protect their only statewide elected Dem I guess.



Anonymous said...

Sam Hall won't touch this and won't allow his staff to touch it.

Burke said...

There are thousands upon thousands of men and women of all colors in Mississippi who are working hard for low pay, and then they hear about Vaterria Martin. Or do they hear about her? Who will tell them? Which newspaper or TV station has the courage?

If they do hear about Vaterria Martin, what's to stop them for voting for Trump? The story is anecdotal and, one hopes, atypical, but it deserves to be made public and resolved out in the open. Otherwise, it will almost certainly be misused to feed the cancer of racism. And the rise of demagogues.

Anonymous said...

Who new yallpolitics was still active?

Perhaps a CL reporter will run with the story now that it's on this blog. They'll definitely see it here.

Anonymous said...

What precious have to do with this, let that man rest

Anonymous said...

2:24

I'm sure Jerry Mitchell will get right on it..as soon as he finishes his next DJP hatchet job.

Anonymous said...

It seems this kind of bullshit happens all the time at all levels of government.

Why didn't Hood just write the bitch a check? It wouldn't have been any worse.......................

LEGAL QUESTION?? Can any citizen of MS file, or sue Hood for misconduct? How can he be held accountable for being complicit in such a scheme?

Anonymous said...

Get a rope.

Anonymous said...

MSBS NEWS

Anonymous said...

Lange's outrage would carry more heft if he put in even an iota of effort into exposing the misdeeds of MSGOP RINOs. But, like Hood, and Hall, Lange will never shine a light on those he is in bed with.

JJ ain't perfect but KF remains the one media outlet in MS who does the most by a Mississippi mile to unmask the crooks and cronyism on both sides of the aisle. Handshoe does a good job too!

Anonymous said...

What about the effort in the Senate to take away Guv Fill's retirement stash?

Anonymous said...

All of theae lawsuits for the State of MS and I haven't seen a dime. Have you?

Can someone please explain how Jackson, MS ( or any other locality this far North) is deserving of BP settlement money?

Dauphin island was wrecked, I tell you. Jackson--- well, the only thing close to a beach it has is cumquats 5 dolla beach over on da rez. No tarballs on cumquats 5 dolla beach. Cumquats 5 dolla beach didnt exist then.

I guess there are the sandbanks of the Pearl, but no tarballs there either.

Anonymous said...

It is the need to have " local counsel" that is at the heart of this.
This time it's Precious Martin's relative and the AG's office, but requiring local counsel most often end's up being nothing but added costs for busy work.
With Westlaw, you don't need a person familiar with State Code anymore. What you buy if you get anything with " local counsel" is a " who's who" and " what's what" locally so you aren't stepping on the wrong toes.
Just as there are DC firms who make much of their money off politics, the same is true in every State.
This is a good example and I'm grateful , KF, but would have been more grateful if you had pointed out how common this is. And, pointed out that as " local counsel" fees go , $112000 is peanuts!

Anonymous said...

27 year old Mississippian here. How am I supposed to read this and have hope for the future of our State?

Jim hood's brother is the director of the state's ethics commission? We are so 17ed. No wonder we are the most corrupt state.

I want to say, when we reach middle age and are established, we really have to work together and get other like minded people to these positions. Otherwise nothing will ever change.

But didn't you older readers have these same goals? What happened?

Looking for hope.

Anonymous said...

Why did they need to retain local counsel to begin with ? Aren't the AG and his staff of attorneys "local" ? I seem to recall they have an office downtown Jackson, here, in the state of Mississippi. They are "local" counsel, so why was Mrs Martin needed ?

Did Mrs Martin, a 5th year "baby" lawyer at the time, have any special training or experience in high stakes securities litigation ? If not, how did they even get her name as possible local counsel ? She doesn't have any website. And why would they pay her almost $1100 an hour ? She actually got paid $225,000 total for 207 hours of legal work, which works out to a little less than $1100 an hour. There is not a single attorney in MS that charges 1100 an hour.

All these are rhetorical questions of course. We know the real answers, though they will never be admitted. Whether illegal or unethical or not, the AG should be ashamed that his staff members are being personally enriched through their employment in his office.

Burke said...

Hang in there, 9:22. There was a time when we were just trying to make it possible for everyone to vote in Mississippi. We could have foreseen that there would be Vaterrias, but we would have let it slip so we could tend to more immediate problems. Fast forward, and now we have Vaterrias as an immediate problem. Some of the old warriors may see her case as a good sign somehow, but I don't. Many of our past hopes were realized; now it's time for different kinds of hope. To me the most important issue in Mississippi and elsewhere is civics: how do we ensure good government? Not a rhetorical question.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a NY fired partner tried to extort money from his former partners.....and got slapped...he may wind up in jail for extortion before its over

McGillicutty said...

It's your fair, so be there!

Anonymous said...

There must be other give aways just like this one. Hood has similar relationships with a lot of other big class action law firms looking to represent MPERS. That means that there are potentially a lot of other contracts like the one given to Martin. We'll just never know about them because they are outside the open records laws and if the big firm doesn't report them like they're supposed to -- and didn't report concerning Martin, we'll never know.

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