Thursday, April 28, 2016

D.A. wants the Sheriff's money

Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith and Sheriff Victor Mason are fighting  over $1.068 million in Hinds County Circuit Court.   Hinds County deputies seized the money during a traffic stop on January 25, 2016.  The District Attorney wants 20% of the seized funds, but the Sheriff argues the D.A.'s office did not participate in any part of the investigation or seizure and thus is not entitled to any portion of the funds.

Sheriff Victor Mason filed a petition for forfeiture on February 12, 2016 for $1.068 million seized during the traffic stop on I-20 at Norrell Road.  Lord Snow attorney B. Parker Berry represented the Sheriff.  However, the District Attorney popped up on March 4 and filed a motion for joinder.  Mr. Smith argued:

Attorney B. Parker Berry is not affiliated  with the Hinds County District Attorney’s Office...

That this action is a civil forfeiture proceeding wherein the Hinds County Sheriff’s Department is seeking the forfeiture of the above listed funds for having been used or being intended to be used for illegal drug activities in violation of the Uniform Controlled Substances..

That the Office of the Hinds County District Attorney is a designated ‘law enforcement agency’ permitted to share in the proceeds of a forfeiture under the Mississippi statutes governing same...

7. The Hinds County Sheriff, a party to this action, has repeatedly made assurances to the District Attorney’s Office that the District Attorney’s Office will receive Twenty (20%) percent of the forfeited funds in accordance with MCA §41-29-181. The statute requires that the ‘law enforcement agency’ participate in the forfeiture proceedings in order to qualify for 20% of the proceeds...

Sheriff Mason was having none of it and filed his response Monday.  The Sheriff argued:

However, respectfully, the District Attorney misrepresents the applicable statute concerning the requirements for law enforcement agencies to participate in the distribution of the forfeiture proceeds. Miss. Code Ann. § 41-29-181(2) provides:

(a) In the event only one (1) law enforcement agency participates in the underlying criminal case out of which the forfeiture arises, twenty percent (20%) of the proceeds shall be forwarded to the State Treasurer and deposited in the General Fund of the state and eighty percent (80%) of the proceeds shall be deposited and credited to the budget of the participating law enforcement agency...

As provided above, neither the District Attorney nor his office participated in the traffic stop, the seizure or the subsequent criminal investigation that ultimately was concluded before the District Attorney even became aware of the instant seizure. The Sheriff’s Department was the only law enforcement agency that participated in the underlying criminal case out of which this forfeiture arises.

9. Therefore, while the Sheriff’s Department would prefer any forfeited funds to remain in Hinds County for the benefit of its residents, it respectfully asserts that the District Attorney has no legal claim to any forfeited proceeds in this matter. Accordingly, the District Attorney has no “interest” under Miss. R. Civ. Pro. 19(a) that will be impaired or impeded by his absence from this matter..

Hinds County Sheriff’s Department respectfully requests this Court to deny the Hinds County District Attorney’s Motion for Joinder, and grant such other relief as may be necessary.
 The case is assigned to Judge William Gowan.

Kingfish note: The D.A. is waging war on: the State Auditor, Attorney General, Downtown Jackson Partners, and now the Sheriff.


Anonymous said...

This will surely raise some eyebrows.

Anonymous said...

So, they will hire attys to fight for this $. It will stay in litigation until all of it has been paid to attys. That will solve the problem since the $ will have been spent.

Anonymous said...

you had rss pegged long before I did. he's such a cancer to the city/county. not only does he not make any progress, all the other agencies/branches of gov't have to dedicate resources to deal with the harm he causes.

Anonymous said...

This will surely raise some eyebrows"..........Why???

Anonymous said...

@ 9:10 - Look at a picture of RSS. Get it?

Anonymous said...

if ms code is the law of the land, this should be pretty cut and dry. I'd like to hear his reasoning for thinking his office is entitled to it.

20% to the treasurers office and be done with it.

Anonymous said...

What kind of connections does RSS have in Jackson? He was re-elected fairly easily--even though his record would make him vulnerable to losing the position.

Anonymous said...

9:35....Ah! Got it!. Ha.

PittPanther said...

Near as i can tell, RSS comes from a well-connected family in the Jackson area. As a result he is assumed to be a good guy. Since the only Jackson media that's complaining about RSS is JJ, everyone thinks he's doing a great job. Trying to convince people otherwise is an uphill battle.

Kingfish said...

Nice try.

CL and JFP endorsed his opponent last year.

Anonymous said...

The DA is somewhere in lala land. What in the hell is going on with him?

PittPanther said...

OK, JJ, maybe I used some hyperbole in saying "no media complains about RSS except JJ." But if for four years no one hears any complaints about RSS, until shortly before the election. And then the only voices of complaint are coming from the C-L, which black Jackson still doesn't trust, and JFP, which black Jackson above the age of 30 doesn't read.

Jackson was quick to remove an ineffective sheriff Ty Lewis, because his failures were public. RSS' failures are more hidden, and honestly, no black people are making any complaints about him.

Anonymous said...

The DA is elected by the people of Hinds County.

The people of Hinds County are largely their DA in doing nothing is doing wonders.

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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.

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