Thursday, July 20, 2017

Judge asked to recuse himself in Ole Miss booster fight

The war between Steve Robertson and Ole Miss opened up another front yesterday.   Mr. Robertson won a round last week in his fight to obtain the names of the boosters cited in two NCAA notices of allegations that were issued to Ole Miss.  However, an unnamed booster, John Doe, asked Hinds County Chancellor Dewayne Thomas to void the Ethics Commission order.   The reporter asked Hinds County Chancellor Dewayne Thomas to recuse himself from the case yesterday since he has connections to Ole Miss. 

The NCAA sent two notices of allegations of violations to Ole Miss in 2016 and 2017.  Mr. Robertson and JJ submitted public records requests for the notices to the university.  Ole Miss provided the notices but redacted the names of students and boosters.  JJ and Mr. Robertson filed public records complaints at the Ethics Commission.  The Ethics Commission ruled Friday that Ole Miss had to provide the records with the unredacted names of the boosters.

John Doe sued to keep the booster names private in May in Hinds County Chancery Court.  The case was assigned to Chancellor Denise Owens.  However, John Doe withdrew his lawsuit and filed the equivalent of an amicus curiae with the Ethics Commission as it reviewed the complaints.   Mr. Doe appealed the decision to the Chancery Court even though the Commission ruled he was not a party to the complaint.

Mr. Robertson accused Mr. Doe of "judge-shopping." The case was initially assigned to Chancellor Patricia Wise but she recused herself and the case was reassigned to Chancellor Owens.  The case was withdrawn.

Mr. Robertson argued in an affidavit submitted with the motion:

1.  John Doe is a booster of the University of Mississippi Athletic program.

2.  Steve  Robertson  is seeking the disclosure  of  John  Doe' s identity, as well as  twelve other boosters listed in public records held  by the  University of Mississippi.

3. The  public  records  sought  concern  violations  of  the  NCAA  rules pertaining to student athletes.
4. Upon information and belief,  the  impartiality of  Chancellor  Dewayne Thoma s might be reasonably questioned since: 1) he is an alumnus of the University of Mississippi;  2)  he is a donor to the University  of Mississippi  and its athletic program; and 3) he regularly attends athletic events held at the  University  of  Mississippi.
Mr. Robertson also filed a response to John Doe's motion to stay the Commission's final order.  The response claims that John Doe is a "non-party" in this matter.  Mr. Doe didn't file a complaint with the Ethics Commission and was not a defendant in the matter.  He thus doesn't have standing to sue or appeal the decision.  His name appeared in a public document and consequently does can't have an expectation of privacy.

Attorney Casey Lott represents Mr. Robertson.  John Doe is represented by David McCarty, Esquire.


A Pribbling Plume-Plucked Pignut said...

Can someone edumacate me on why this is such a hot button issue? Legally, I can see the necessity for the names to be revealed, but why would anyone care? Is this like that time ricin was sent to the White House and one Elvis impersonator was framed by one of his daft rivals?

Anonymous said...

Recusal here should be a no-brainer.

For one Ole Miss athletics booster to block an Ethics Commission order, in order to protect another Ole Miss athletics booster named in an NCAA investigation of Ole Miss athletic boosters ... that's too blatant even for Ole Miss athletics boosters, right?

Anonymous said...

Finally, some more important news.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't McCarty usually do death penalty appeals or something? Maybe that's why he missed on the standing issue. Of course, I'm not sure why he'd take this case in the first place. I guess he sees it as a crusade of some kind or other. He's a nice enough guy, but I wish he'd have gone east to Georgia when he left Alabama and not headed west to our fair state.

Anonymous said...

Won't this booster likely be disassociated from the Ole Miss program anyway?

I guess I don't understand the "why" behind going to these lengths to hide the identity. Is it a fear of social ostracism, like being banished from the Grove tailgate, or being blacklisted at CCJ or RHC? Is it a fear of losing business if this person is a professional (e.g., doctor, lawyer) or business owner?

Anonymous said...

I admire Robertson's persistence.

Anonymous said...

You keep pecking at a spot and eventually it will open up.

Anonymous said...

These same fans and boosters and website hosts went after Steve and his family and made threats that would put most people in jail. That's where Steve gets his drive to unmask these names. If John Doe hadn't done anything wrong, he would be worried about people knowing his name. Ole Miss has hidden so many facts from their fans and alumni when it comes to this cheating scandal. We went to there being no investigation, to it was only women's basketball and track and then it was football, but the previous staff only, not the current staff. Then the first NOA came out showing Bdork and Freeze to be TOTAL liars. Then there was the second NOA after the Tunsil draft confession and admission that he did receive money from coaches and we finally got the hostage video where they led the flock and media donkeys to blame it all on MSU and one of their athletes. They showed no mercy when they released the names of Student Athlete 39 which is going to come back and bite them when the third NOA shows up in the mail. Of course, as most Ole Miss fans think, they can intimidate with a bunch of lawyers and people will back down but I think they are going to find out that Leo, Nutt nor the NCAA are scared of their legal bullshit. I would pray they would sue someone so that Freezus can be deposed under oath and face perjury for all the lies he's told so far. John Doe is really a nobody when it comes to the big time Bears he is trying to protect or should I say Ole Miss is trying to protect by putting John Doe up to this. There is a certain former lawyer who spent years in a federal prison, a former QB and even a former basketball player who probably don't want their names made public is they are named in the NOA(s). Ole Miss people just need to turn around, bend over and take it from the NCAA because there is no doubt that with that many Level 1 violations, it's going to hurt and hurt really bad for years to come. They will go down as the SMU of the current college football timeline. Yeah, everybody cheats, but when you try to cheat at a level and think you will never get caught, you'd better not be sloppy when handing out those bags of cash to 17-18 yr olds.

Anonymous said...

If anyone has seen ESPN 30 for 30 on SMU they will realize why the boosters don't won't their names out.

Anonymous said...

@4:28 No, Rosebowl gets his drive because he has replaced a narcotics addiction with another addiction. Once an addict- always an addict.

Anonymous said...

Seems like 4:28 may be pretty heavily invested in this stuff. Mix in a paragraph break, dude.

Anonymous said...

Didn't the SMU boosters cause that school to get the death penalty?

Kingfish said...

Yes but that won't happen again. NCAA didn't realize how long it would take to restore a program after the death penalty was used.

Anonymous said...

KF, that is an urban legend that the NCAA will never again give the death penalty. The NCAA has given the death penalty multiple times in various sports since the SMU debacle, but not in D-1 football.

Anonymous said...

and now that freezus has lost his pay-out and been totally thrown under the bus by the bears, he is not going to care one bit about whether he is deposed or this point, he has nothing left to lose by telling the truth (if he remembers what that is anymore)

On Sides Kick said...

The Faithful are wondering this morning, "Can't all this crap just go away now that he's resigned". Well...........Nope.

Anonymous said...

Can you (or someone) give an update on the status of the Ethics Commission order?

Anonymous said... least freezus didnt shoot himself.....yet....and then Dorsey can come to the rescue and sue everybody.....and Butler Snow!

Anonymous said...

Just a thought, it happens everywhere...

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