Monday, July 18, 2016

The good ole boys at MBN settle a sexual harassment lawsuit.

Does MBN have a good ole boy culture of crude sexual jokes, harassment of female employees, and a dreaded "Perkins Scale"? that rates women based on looks? The Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics settled a sexual harassment suit last month for undisclosed terms.  MBN Special Projects Officer Mary Katherine Sullivan sued MBN on September 4, 2015 for alleged acts of sexual harassment committed by MBN Deputy Director Mike Perkins. 
Ms. Sullivan alleged in her complaint:

Throughout her employment, the Plaintiff  has been subjected  and/ or exposed  to sexual comments, dirty jokes, and sexual propositions by her superior, Defendant Perkins,  who at all  relevant  times  supervised  the  Plaintiff   in  his  capacity  as either Lieutenant  Colonel or Deputy  Director  at MBN.   Although  the Plaintiff  requested that Perkins stop his offensive behavior, he persisted and his offensive behavior, in fact, escalated.

Until September 2014, Perkins was assigned as the Enforcement Commander for MBN and handled the day to day operations and assignment for all personnel within MBN. Despite his leadership position, Perkins's office at MBN Headquarters is conspicuously adorned with a certificate he received from sexual harassment training with the word "failed" stamped in large print. The Plaintiff and other female employees have seen this certificate on numerous occasions while conducting business at headquarters.

While conducting interviews for potential female employees and often in the presence of the Plaintiff, Perkins openly and boastfully ranks the candidates with a sexually motivated number system, in which the higher the "number" the more physically attractive the candidate is to him. This system is widely known at MBN as the "Perkins Scale".

On September 3, 2014, Laurie Wallace McDaniel spoke with Perkins in reference to an upcoming budget meeting, whereby she implored Perkins to increase the Plaintiff's salary, as she was filling dual roles as an analyst and in case management. McDaniel stated to Perkins that MBN needed to increase the Plaintiff's pay for the required duties of her promotion. Perkins emphatically declined despite acknowledging that MBN did have enough money in the budget.

On September 4, 2014, the very day after Perkins declined Ms. McDaniel's request, Perkins directed at least two (2) sexually harassing comments to the Plaintiff while attending a meeting at the MBN Headquarters in Byram. While Perkins was leading the meeting related to policy and procedures of electronic intercept cases conducted by MBN, the group was discussing the legalities of picture texts. With the full attention of the room, Perkins stated, "So if Mary Katharine were taking naked pictures of herself ...I would get to see them".

Later, during the same September 4, 2014 meeting, Agent Adam Smith made a joke stating, "I can hear Ronnie now saying 'What's a tweet'?" Immediately, Perkins directed his second harassing comment to Mrs. Sullivan despite her imploring Perkins to resist, stating, "Yeah, I'll tell you what a twitter's that space (and Perkins used a hand gesture to indicate a space between a female's anus and the vagina)"....

An "investigation" of the incidents at the September 4, 2014 meeting was initiated, and attorney Jackie Bost was forced to resign from MBN as a result of his text messages to the Plaintiff. Perkins was temporarily placed on administrative leave during the sham internal investigation. However, despite the admission in writing by MBN's own counsel as to the sexual harassment, Perkins was promoted to deputy director (2nd in command for the entire Bureau) merely days after the "investigation" was completed. More, Perkins' s promotion calls for him to supervise a very large percentage of female employees and no steps were taken to ensure Mrs. Sullivan would not be exposed to Perkins's harassment in the future, as he continues to be present during her visits to MBN headquarters much to her dismay.

As both the Lieutenant Commander and Deputy Director, Perkins carried vast power and influence with MBN and, because of his power and influence, MBN tolerated his misconduct. With Perkins at its center, the working environment at MBN was, and remains, highly sexually-charged. Although management was obviously aware of the sexual antics at MBN (given that Perkins is management), they turned a blind eye to this behavior, forcing female employees who were offended by the conduct to simply remain silent out of fear of retaliation....
The complaint also charges Deputy Director Perkins retaliated against her husband who also works for MBN.
The two sides skirmished in federal court with the usual filings such as motions to dismiss, responses, and more motions until it settled on June 21, 2016. 


Anonymous said...

Well, Let's look at the whole of the facts and circumstances. First Mrs Sullivan did not get a raise because there was not money in the budget. Then she decided (after 8 years with MBN) that she was being sexually harassed. Hmmm! Go figure on that. Maybe her number on the "Perkins scale" was not as high as she would have liked for it to be, or maybe she just wants a big settlement so she can retire early. Lots of room here for speculation.

The tweet, twitter...... thing really doesn't make any sense at all, everyone knows that the area referred to is in fact called a "'Tain't", tain't one and it tain't the other.

She also says that her husband was harassed by Perkins. I don't see a suit filed against MBN by Mr. Sullivan.

It sounds like someone didn't get what she wanted (raise) and decided to go after her boss with a B.S. lawsuit.

Anonymous said...

@12:35- your mother, wife, and daughter(s) must be so proud

Anonymous said...

Easy, Mike, it's that same attitude that got you in this mess.

Anonymous said...

@ July 18, 2016 at 1:03 PM

LOL! But true - LOL

Anonymous said...

@12:35 Sounds like some of these comments were made in a group setting, but you are sure she is just making this up because she didn't get a raise? Did all the other people at the meeting say she made it up or did they say it really happened? Hope you NEVER supervise any females, particularly my daughter.

Anonymous said...

Learn to read 12:35 it said there was money in the budget.

Anonymous said...

Well, damn it, what was this broad's score on the Perkins' Scale? Inquiring minds!

Anonymous said...

Play with fire and............write a check.

Kingfish said...

That is very sexist. We do not use broad to refer to women.

Lil fillie is the appropriate term here.

Anonymous said...

Santa Cruz and PB ought to be proud of ole Perk. Thats what you get when you have to make someone move out of the trailers behind the HQ so you can promote them without an immediate scandal..... Owens aint gone get rid of his patna'...........Proud day for MBN.

Anonymous said...

What a piece of shit Perkins is! Is he on administrative leave or something? People like him should be castrated publicly. Women no longer tolerate that good ole boy crap - particularly from middle aged losers.

Anonymous said...

Why would a senior official have a sexual harassment certificate with the word failed stamped across it. What an idiot! I'm sure his boss has seen it. Both should be removed/employment terminated.

Anonymous said...

@4:33 and claiming Per Diem too.

Anonymous said...

Sexual harassment is a real problem in Mississippi and not just at MBN.

The truth is that a man who makes lewd comments and tries to proposition every attractive woman he meets is invariably unappealing both physically and intellectually. IF he is successful in his efforts, it is with a woman who wants to use him or with a woman anyone can have.

Men who sexually harass might as well tattoo " easy mark" or " fragile ego" or " small dick" or " stupid" on his forehead. He'd be a ZERO on any woman's rating scale as the harasser's sexual immaturity is blatant!

And, men, if you use your authority or weapons or physical size or any other form of intimidation to get another person to submit to you, you have accomplished nothing of value. You are no different from the men who join ISIS or MBN's the drug lords in this instance.
You may control others in the short run and feel powerful but your power is artificial. The person will hate you and if they live, they will get their revenge at the first opportunity or the truly powerful will bring you down eventually. If you don't have the brain power to learn how to persuade, earn loyalty and make others want to do their best for you, you have gained nothing of lasting value.
And, if someone admires or loves you for your money, you best hope you can hold on to it because what those kind of people want is to take it from you. They don't value who you are.
Your mothers should have told you this.

John Dough said...

First, it sounds like he and the director should be summarily fired.

Second, I bet his Perkins is 2".

Anonymous said...

@7:57 AM LOVE LOVE your comments and sooooo true. As a female who has worked for over 40 years with many men I can tell you that you hit the nail on the head!

Anonymous said...

Let me start by saying that after reading this article, I'm completely dumbfounded. I've known Mike Perkins for almost 17 years and had the privilege to serve along side of him for over 4 years as an agent with MSN. I've never known him to be anything other than a devoted husband, father and professional. I do not know Mary Kate or her husband so I can't speak to their character. I do know that the State of Mississippi has a nepotism policy and it's in place to avoid situations such as the one in this story. If they weren't married to each other when they started working for MBN, then they began their courtship while working together at MBN, which is more common than most people would think. If this is the case, was there ever a hostile work environment claim filed against the other for sexual advances that ultimately led to marriage? Mike Perkins has 30 years of law enforcement service to the people of Mississippi and I can't believe that he would do the things outlined in her complaint to tarnish his long and respected career in law enforcement.

Anonymous said...

So is anyone looking at what these idiots are costing the state...not only in settlement dollars, but in lost public trust. It's time for the governor to take a close look at his public safety "leaders" and demand a higher level of performance and accountability. Albert Santa Cruz, Rusty Barnes and Mike Perkins are fine examples of people who have no idea what they are doing and have no business supervising others. I know that individual settlement amounts are sealed, but is there a way to request the total amount of settlements and current lawsuits?

This problem is institutional and as long as these folks are in command, the lawsuits will continue and the citizens of the state will suffer.

Anonymous said...

Not much can be said for a man who has to use his position to try to hit on women. It is very common. Even presidents do it. That doesn't make them anything other than a piece of slime.

Size lives matter said...

I bet Perkins anatomy resembles a button on a fur coat

Anonymous said...

8:58 - Where do you get off attempting to throw dirt at the plaintiff and her husband??? What do you mean by "...a nepotism policy in place to avoid situations such as the one in the story"??? There is no nepotism involved and this situation is definitely no "story". So you "can't believe he[Perkins]would do things outlined in her [Sullivan's] complaint to tarnish his" Well, obviously you don't know Perkins as well as you think you do.

Perkins should be removed from the agency. Being forced to wear a t-shirt with large scarlet "FAILED SEXUAL HARASSMENT TRAINING" lettering on the front would be most appropriate since he is apparently proud of that admission. Guys like Perkins don't change and they never understand what they did wrong.

I don't know any of the people involved and have no ties to the MBN.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Perkins not only cost the taxpayers the cost of settlement, he will also get to draw his retirement check from PERS for the rest of his days. How do people like this guy and Chris Epps get to keep retirement benefits?

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