Dr. Arnold Smith asked a Hinds County Circuit Court to remove Attorney General Jim Hood in a complaint for Quo Warranto filed yesterday. Dr. Smith argues that the Mississippi Constitution places the Attorney General under the judicial branch and thus Mr. Hood can not serve in the executive branch of state government.
Dr. Smith currently resides at Whitfield. He was indicted for capital murder in for allegedly participating in a murder for hire plot to kill Greenwood attorney and power broker Lee Abraham in April 2012. Two armed men showed up at Mr. Abraham's office on a Saturday night but were met by two investigators from the Attorney General's office who just happened to be armed as well. A shootout took place. One would-be assassin was killed and the other was taken into custody. Special Circuit Judge Breland Hilburn dismissed the capital murder charge in 2013. Dr. Smith is represented by attorney William Bell. The case was assigned to Judge Winston Kidd.
Dr. Smith first cites the Mississippi Constitution in support of his claim:
SECTION 173. There shall be an attorney-general elected at the same time and in the same manner as the governor is elected, whose term of office shall be four years and whose compensation shall be fixed by law. The qualifications for the attorney-general shall be the same as herein prescribed for judges of the circuit and chancery courts.
The drafters of the constitution aligned the qualifications of the Attorney General with the qualifications "as herein prescribed for judges of the circuit and chancery courts." This alignment of qualifications with other members of the judicial branch clearly shows the intent of the drafters that the Attorney General is part of the judicial branch of government.It is also argued that Article V "does not establish the Attorney General as an officer of the executive branch of government." The complaint states that Mr. Hood has to vacate his office if he performs any duties that are considered to be a part of the executive branch. He cites Article I, Section 2 in support:
No person or collection of persons, being one or belonging to one of these departments, shall exercise any power properly belonging to either of the others. The acceptance of an office in either of the said departments shall, of itself, and at once, vacate any and all offices held by the person so accepting in either of the other departments.Remember that arrest of the Hinds County District Attorney last week? Dr. Smith attempts to use it to his advantage. He charges:
Agents and employees of Defendant Hood represent themselves as law enforcement officers and investigators, including but not limited to Attorney General Investigators Tony Green, Larry Ware, Jerry Spell, Charles Rubisoff, Jr., and Leland McDivitt. A true and correct copy of Leland McDivitt 's June 22, 2016 void "Affidavit" against Robert Shuler Smith is attached as Exhibit "A" (showing that Leland McDivitt purports to be a "criminal investigator with the office of the Mississippi Attorney General" who also arrested the District Attorney last week.
He argues the arrest warrant was "null and void" under the separation of powers doctrine since the Attorney General is a member of the judicial branch of government. The only remedy is for Mr. Hood to vacate his office since he illegally participated in the executive branch of government. Dr. Smith also asks the court to bar Mr. Hood and any of his employees from "performing any duties" as an executive branch officer.
Stay tuned. This will provide some legal porn for the attorneys who read this website.