Thursday, August 11, 2016

And another good ole boy leaves after a sex discrimination case settles

Mississippi Department of Homeland Security Director Rusty Barnes resigned from his position this week.  He became director in May 2013.  JJ reported a year ago that Penny Corn, Grants Director for Homeland Security, sued the Department of Public Safety for sex discrimination and retaliation in federal court.  She alleged that Mr. Barnes committed several acts of discrimination against her. The case settled without prejudice in April.


JJ reported in August 2015:

 Ms. Corn began working at the DPS in September 2007, but is not a sworn law enforcement officer.  She sought a Deputy Director position in July, 2014, but alleges Homeland Security Director Everett "Rusty" Barnes said he would not consider her for the promotion because she was not a certified law enforcement officer and thus did not qualify for the position.  Ms. Corn told him being a sworn law enforcement officer "was not a qualification for the position" but the Director said "the men in the field would not respect her" because "she was a woman".

 She filed a grievance in August, 2014 with DPS Commissioner Santa Cruz.  She met with the commissioner to discuss her grievance, but Steve Beard was already promoted to the position.  Ms. Corn argued Mr. Beard did not meet the minimum qualifications for the position.  She also asked the the Commissioner to remove Mr. Barnes from his position for his acts of discrimination and Mr. Beard from his position as well since he was not qualified.




Commissioner Cruz reportedly stated in a written response to her:

While I am not going to remove Director Barnes' from his position at the MDHS, after careful review and consideration, I do think that we need to have a posted interview before a properly constructed board for the position of Deputy Director. 
As such, and in view of your request, we are going to rescind the appointment of Steve Beard as Deputy Director.  I have instructed the personnel department to begin the process of posting this position as being available for the interview.  We will conduct interviews of all qualified applicants according to the position.
 However, the plaintiff charges things did not go according to Cruz's plan.  She claimed Mr. Cruz said Mr. Barnes would not take part in the hiring of a Deputy Director, as it would be  conducted by an interview panel.  She claims Mr. Barnes chaired the interview panel and chose "the members" of the panel based upon his own discretion instead of a list of people chosen by Human Resources.


The panel hired Steve Beard for the position.  Ms. Corn alleges the retaliation then began in December, 2014.  Director Barnes revoked her right to drive her state vehicle "to and from work" while eight MDHS employees are allowed to do so and all such employees are male.  Two of the employees allowed to enjoy this privilege are also employees supervised by Ms. Corn.

Ms. Corn is represented by attorney Dennis Horn.  She seeks back pay, damages, and attorney's fees.  She also asks the court to promote her to the position of Deputy Director.   Ms. Corn's Facebook page states she left the position as MDHS Grants Director in March, 2015.  She is currently director of the Mississippi Office of Highway Safety, which is a division of the Department of Public Safety Planning, which is a division of DPS.   The case has been assigned to Judge Henry Wingate.

Kingfish note: Nice to see the newspaper covering this a year later. Wonder if they will post a big ad patting themselves on the back for the ground breaking coverage on this story.

Oh yes, don't forget Officer Redfruit. One of the best moments on JJ.  Comments were gold.  Solid gold. 


37 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good riddance...he was a disaster as a director and overall he is just an idiot...I wonder what lawsuit his resignation was a condition of.

Anonymous said...

And Santa Cruz is still there.......... This makes multiple racial AND sexual discrimination lawsuits, not to mention the financial state of the agency that he has overseen.

Anonymous said...

My goodness- is the entire male management team at DPS, MBN and MSP all corrupt?

Anonymous said...

11:25 - quick answer, yes. Long answer - it's part of the MHP culture and it's an embarrassment to the state and others who work for DPS who are not involved. The governor should take note and take ACTION to solve this problem. This fish has been rotting from the head down for a long time. Quite frankly, Barnes destroyed the reputation of the state, and the careers and lives of many of his employees and should be arrested for some of the illegal shit he pulled while he was director, he got off easy by resigning.

Anonymous said...

More importantly, the private investigator is testifying in the Felix Vail trial.

Anonymous said...

@11:25 - MS department of public safety management is far from a team, they're a bunch of morons that collected enough dirt on each other over the years so they have no choice other than to watch each other's back.

Anonymous said...

Someone check and see how many sex and racial discrimination lawsuits have been filed against DPS since Santa Cruz has been running the show. Yet the governor keeps him there. On top of this, ask any legislator that has dealt with Cruz and you will be convinced he is well beyond his capabilities as DPS commissioner. Sounds to me like there is some favors or money swapping hands.

The Double Dipper said...

A reliable source recently told me that MHP is the only State Agency where employees can retire then take another State job and retire from that one in order to receive 2 pension plans. What say you?

Anonymous said...

It's such an easy damn fix! The Governor needs to hire a Director that has no ties to him, who can go in and clean up the culture and he can hold them accountable to get the job done. It's really that simple. But instead, because of campaign promises and bones in his own closet, he'll just appoint another person from the "I owe this person a favor" list

Anonymous said...

1:46 - true, it's (one of) the biggest scams in the state, and retired troopers are just about useless in their second jobs and you can't fire them. Why a state as small as Mississippi has three separate retirement systems is beyond me, but then again nothing makes sense here.

Anonymous said...

@ Double Dipper

The is correct Mon Amie! The legislators can fix that, but they are more concerned with "Blue Lives Matter" than fixing these got dern bad roads!

Anonymous said...

State senate and the house members made it very clear 2 years ago that Santa Cruz was unfit to hold his title and recommended to the Gov. he be replaced. The Gov., for some reason, still keeps him on. He is a joke at the Capitol.

Anonymous said...

Phil Bryant is in process of leaving a catastrophe of poor leadership and management in his wake: Corrections, Public Safety, Mental Health.....and the list keeps growing.

Anonymous said...

Things are so bad at the Department of Public Safety that it may be time to pass out a no bid emergency contract for a full blown public relations campaign to improve and polish the stained image they now have.This should include billboards,TV ads and and full page positive print ads that look like news articles.I feel certain this would turn things around for somebody or some group of bodies.

Anonymous said...

Why do state employees and firefighters always bitch about their jobs and their bosses??

Anonymous said...

Recently, I had to visit the MHP facility on Woodrow Wilson to have my DL renewed.

Looking and listening at the state employees allegedly "working" while I sat in the lobby,made it clear to me that the phrase "schuckin" and jivin'" has reached a new level.

With a workforce like that, the pissing and moaning from state workers will never end.....i.e. a lawsuit for this, that and everything.....

Anonymous said...

3:36 = posted by Godwin Group

Anonymous said...

You don't get in the MHP unless you do steroids or HGH. Just look at them.

Anonymous said...

5:58-3:36 may be the Godwin Group or could be any number of others who are sick and tired of the same group of people colluding to squeeze the Charmin way to many times to benefit only themselves.Time for this well know group of co-conspirators to pay the piper.

Anonymous said...

Folks the buck stops at the top. This is about our man Deputy Phil. He has to step up and own this bullshit. But he won't. Cause he is weak.

Anonymous said...

Cruz is 75 years old retired trooper with a GED , he draws 2 state checks , one from being a retired trooper and the other being Commissioner of Public Safety , this disaster named Cruz is costing us $200,000.00 a year in salary and retirement , folks! Pretty good for a redneck trooper with a GED !

Not A Priority said...

Mabus put an unqualified woman named Louisa Dixon in the job of running MHP. She was a dismal failure, but broke the glass ceiling and the rainbow ceiling.

Musgrove had people in charge who would hide his whereabouts (learned that trick from Bill Clinton).

Haley had a competent Commissioner in charge who was retired FBI.

Feel is busy posing in a FEMA windbreaker, bickering with Hood and attending the rodeo.

Anonymous said...

Hey Gubner (wanna be cop) Feellll,
Looks like your problem ain't the gays (that you have tried to discriminate against). You got a big ole pile of dog shit trying to run an agency!!! Instead of spending your time gettin people pissed about the gays, try focusing on things that matter & that you can control. Your appointee (and previous Gubners' appointee) Epps stole more $ than anyone in the history of our state, then this shit show, and the list goes on. All the time you're running your mouth about issues that intelligent people in our state & nation don't give a crap about. Way to go Felll. If you're job is to keep Mississippi last,you're a winner! Feeellll for dog catcher in 2020!!! Go to the house!

Anonymous said...

The female over grants could not take a department car home at night but the two males in grants under her could. 1) why do grant writers need take home cars? 2) why do we have a whole department of grants writers? I need to go watch Idiocracy again.

Anonymous said...

Bryant issued a statement that said: "I will not tolerate any improper behavior among personnel within executive agencies related to sexual harassment. I have a zero tolerance for this behavior."

It's too bad he has no problem tolerating the racial discrimination at DPS. He's known about recently retired Col Donnell Berry discriminating against white troopers for years and Cruz supporting it. I know they've settled at least 1 lawsuit for this and have another one pending. How much money, in hard budget times like this, has to be wasted due to incompetent leadership at DPS?

Anonymous said...

Bryant issued a statement that said: "I will not tolerate any improper behavior among personnel within executive agencies related to sexual harassment. I have a zero tolerance for this behavior."

It's too bad he doesn't have a problem tolerating racial discrimination at DPS! He's known for years that currently retired Col Donnell Berry was discriminating against white troopers with Cruz's support. I know they've settled at least 1lawsuit for this and have 1 pending. How much money, in hard budget times like now, has to be wasted due to incompetent leadership at DPS before anything is done?

Anonymous said...

@ August 12, 2016 at 7:19 AM

Get the fudge out of here with that reverse racism crapola! DPS is as segregated as they come and that is self imposed segregation based on the geography and demographics of this state! All white troops and then you have predominately black troops with white supervisors over those troops. Not saying black troopers are totally innocent in the administration practices in DPS. But this state needs a governor that wants to get this state on track on handling the daily infrastructure functions such as minimizing accidents, keep traffic flowing, violate any idiots causing problems for other drivers, keeping us all safe.

Anonymous said...

This governor is just like the past governors. They get to hung up in their own importance and forget they have a whole state to take care of. They spend more time posing for pictures than doing things that might help the state. Then some, like the one we have now, get into thumping their bible and forget there are people who do not believe in fairy tales.

Anonymous said...

Phil has appointed a lot of incompetent people and has squeezed some county boards and Planning Districts to also hire his incompetent lackeys.

Anonymous said...

Haley is the one who appointed Santa Cruz first

Anonymous said...

Haley is the one that appointed Santa Cruz in the first place!

Anonymous said...

Since Barnes resigned so quickly and his girlfriend, who worked at their Intel place, resigned too, does that mean there is a connection? Or is she going to file a lawsuit like her mother & the grant lady did, so some more of our state tax dollars get paid out for more discrimination?

Balogna Baloney.. said...

9:10 - The point made that prompted your post was that successful lawsuits have found 'reverse' discrimination by blacks in the department. It matters not one whit that the department is integrated or that parts of the state might be viewed as segregated. And it matters not that blacks supervise whites and vice versa.

If you own a business that's on trial for race discrimination, try using as a defense that your place of business is integrated. Lawsuits and charges are brought either by individuals or groups of similarly affected employees. Claiming the department is integrated is worthless as a defense. Just as worthless as claiming demographics and geography drive your hiring and assignment practices.

Get Outahere YoSef....

Anonymous said...

@ Balogna Baloney..

Are you 100% certain that lawsuit you're referencing was based on race or was it gender?

Anonymous said...

Corns suit was settled in April. More than that at play here. Come on JJ what is the real reason? More here than meets the eye.

Baloney said...

@ Balogna Baloney..

Are you 100% certain that lawsuit you're referencing was based on race or was it gender?

I did't reference a particular lawsuit. I referenced a prior post. The rest of my post was by way of example, based on federal employment law. Makes absolutely no difference which it was based on. It could have been based on religious affiliation, age or disability for all I know. All are groups protected under federal law.

Your point?

Anonymous said...

Barnes (when he bothered to show up for work) blatantly abused his authority as director...he was more interested in acting like a tinhorn dictator and bigshot, handing out favors to his friends, traveling to DC to make an ass of himself and chasing his married girlfriend around the state in his state vehicle. Every time he opened his mouth he showed just how much of an idiot he is. He hasn't one accomplishment he can chalk up during his tenure and he (and his buddies, and you know who you are) destroyed a well-respected office. Congratulations Rusty on your forced resignation!

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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!!!

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