Tuesday, February 13, 2018

DPS caught lying when it fired trooper.

The Mississippi Department of Public Safety's attempt to purge a sissy from its ranks failed last week when the Mississippi Employee Appeals Board ordered DPS to reinstate a fired trooper with back-pay and benefits.  The Board ruled that DPS illegally fired Sergeant James Richards for taking prescription medications after he had major hip replacement surgery.

Sergeant Richards has been a MHP Trooper since 2000.  He suffered through a major hip replacement surgery in 2015 and was given several medications.  The medications were opioids, a benzo, and a schedule II.  These were legal  prescriptions.  The Sergeant attended training and weapons qualification on October 31, 2016.  He "successfully qualified" with his three firearms.  However, officials thought he was acting sluggish and were "suspicious" he was intoxicated and had him drug tested.

Sergeant Richards tested positive for all of his prescription medications.  The prescriptions were valid when he was tested and he did not test positive for any substance for which there was not a prescription.

However, DPS threw out his medical record and charged him with reporting to work when his ability was impaired by the "unlawful use of controlled substances."  DPS ruled:

Based on the  above, it is evidence that the actions alleged  herein are in violation  of  departmental   rules  and  regulations,   being  DPS  General Order  9.03.04,  B., 3., c. Therefore,  it  is my  belief  that  Sergeant  James Richards,   a  sworn  officer  of  the  Mississippi  Highway  Safety  Patrol should  be  subjected  to  a Performance  Review Board  Hearing  pursuant to   the  provisions   of  DPS  General   Order  9.04,  with  the   allegations contained herein heard as one Group Three Offense.
DPS fired him on February 3, 2017 for

Reporting to work under the influence of, or when ability is impaired by, alcohol or the unlawful use of controlled substances. (Group Three Offense).
Sergeant Richards appealed to the Board.  The Board said DPS lied but in more professional terms (Is anyone surprised that this agency is once again caught not telling the truth?).  The order says it all:

The basis for Richard's termination was untrue.  All of the evidence  resented  at  the hearing, including that offered by MDPS, illustrates that Richards had a valid prescription  for all of the substances in  his  system. The issue succinctly stated is whether Richards'  use of prescription medication may  constitute an "unlawful use  of controlled substances. Clearly it did not at  this  particular  time. MDPS  produced no evidence demonstrating  that Richards   had unlawfully  used the controlled substances he was  legally prescribed  during  his in-service  training.  The medication in his system was legally prescribed to him by a licensed physician and according to Richards, taken as directed.  There was no evidence that Richards took more than the prescribed dose during the relevant period of time.  And while there is no disputing the fact that Richards had controlled substances in hi system, there is absolute zero evidence that Richards unlawfully used the controlled substances which was the basis of his termination. 

The opinion delivered a knockout blow to DPS:

the basis for the termination is untrue and must be reversed by this tribunal.  While Richards may have been impaired by his legal use of controlled substances, evidence presented at the hearing demonstrated that he successfully completed the training. 
DPS also received a little lecture about life in general from the Board:

Those serving in a law enforcement capacity are people too.  They get injured.  They get sick.  From time to time, it is expected that they too will visit the doctor and occasionally be prescribed medication.  That medication may sometimes be a controlled substance to help him or her recover from a painful condition.  There is nothing illegal or problematic about that.  From the evidence, this tribunal cannot conclude that Richards illegally used any controlled substance as MDPS has contended.  Therefor, this basis for Richard's termination must fail as an untruth

The Board ordered MDPS to reinstate Sergeant Richards with full back-pay, medical leave, and benefits "as if he had never been terminated."

A sissy thus returns to the ranks.

Kingfish note:  How many times did the order state DPS was lying? Three? Four?  What bonehead lawyer at DPS thought firing this guy was a good idea?  Of course, pointing out that DPS caught caught lying and screwing over a guy who puts his life on the line every day is "targeting" DPS. 

One shouldn't be too surprised that Marshall Fisher's DPS took this action.  He is the guy who wants to ban drug courts for drug dealers and jail doctors for at least 40 years if they write an opioid prescription that results in an overdose.  If you want a look at health care policy run by DPS, just read the order posted below.

So much for what Governor Bryant said about the buck stopping.

Oh, why is the term sissy used in this post?


Anonymous said...

I thought for a minute that Marshall Fisher may be a good and effective administrator when he took over MDOC. That was a very short lived thought. The man has proven to be an idiot with power. That's as dangerous as any thug running the streets or running a gang in prison. Probably even more dangerous as his asinine theories on legal prescriptions, name calling of people who have real medical problems and his disregard for the good of the public.

Anonymous said...

This is shocking (not) - it sounds like Richards was targeted for some reason. Maybe he wasn't "one of the gang," who knows, but one thing is certain at DPS - this is the most inept and unprofessional agency I've ever heard of. It seems like we can't go for a week without hearing about some bullshit over there... Maybe the MBN director should drug test all those sissies and see who pisses hot - between the real prescription abuse (think Adderall, etc.) and steroids, my guess is that the results would be shocking.

Anonymous said...

Bryant has done some good things but propping up these two little Hitlers is not it. Fisher is an out-of-control megalomaniac.

Kingfish said...

Well, the investigation began when Cruz was Commissioner. Fisher took over a few days before he was fired.

Anonymous said...

It is my sense that both Dodwy and Fisher are overly idealistic, bordering on naive (which is surprising for their backgrounds, especially Fisher) and lack the creative and pragmatic thinking required to solve complex problems.

Anonymous said...

Since the trooper was fired based on lies, and the decision was reversed, because of the lies...is it someone else's turn to be fired?


With documentation?

Anonymous said...

Kingfish wrote: If you want a look at health care policy run by DPS, just read the order posted below.

Sorry for sending readers to RINO radio but start listening at 40:45 minutes. Don't be fooled, Mississippi physicians are being strong-armed with health care policy diktats from Fisher, Dowdy and Easterling.

F mickns said...

I'm willing to bet one dollar that no lawyer reviewed the firing, much less the response DPS presented to the review board.

If DPS did get legal advice from an in-house counsel they need to get a new and better one.

Anonymous said...

Well for the first time, if not by accident, this guy may have hit on something wondering outloud what atty at DPS thought this was a good idea....the newish General Counsel to the agency was a Morgan and Morgan graduate who also prosecuted in Canton part time.

Dan Matthews said...

Finally I am in agreement with one of Mickns' posts. I too doubt any attorney review the termination or the language in the writeup.

I also wondered throughout why KF referred to the man as a sissy and actually think it unfair to him to have used that term even though the goob in the video used it.

Some of the real sissies are these steroid-pumped trooper-jocks with miniscule peckers, flirting with truck drivers.

Kingfish said...

Someone put 10:43 out of his misery please.

Anonymous said...

DPS was a disaster before Marshall Fisher came on board. Most of the bad news coming out of there - as Kingfish pointed out in this thread - happened before he got in there. That's why he was put in that position, because he is a very competent administrator.

Anonymous said...

I am a 20 year law enforcement officer and I think want to be cop Dowdy is a sissy. I bet he has never put handcuffs on a suspect in his life.

Anonymous said...


Have you forgotten all of the bad things that went on when Fisher was over MBN?

Anonymous said...

SB 2958 appropriates about 182 million to DPS.... now if they will lie, go against their own rules, to get one fired why trust them this much.

Anonymous said...

Would any of this have happened if Costco had been open?

Anonymous said...

1:02 - excellent observation, while Costco would have prevented this whole situation; this injustice occurred after the Whole Foods was opened. Retail can't prevent everything...

Anonymous said...

Fired because the rest of them are so pumped full of steroids they have no idea why anybody needs pain meds. Don’t see why dowdy is calling folks sissy when the entire MHP has veins showing on their forehead. Open your eyes John.

Anonymous said...

Governor needs more money from legislature for MHP trooper school.

10:43... said...

10:43 here, Kingfish. You rarely think an inch or ten seconds beyond what you're about to type, do you?

Anonymous said...

My take; DPS will appeal and put this trooper through hell during said process. Remember DPS has Attorneys at their disposal? It's no way in freeking hell that DPS will do what the employee appeal judge, stated in his order. His case will go to Circuit Court and a two year wait.
My suggestion hire a bulldog Attorney! Someone like Attorney Lisa Milner Binder.

My Appeal to the Govenor, don't let DPS appeal. Ensure they (DPS) do the right thing!

Anonymous said...

Locker reassignment and transfer in 3..2..1..

If you stop for a second and think about it.....the majority of MHP/DPS desk-jockeys as well as troopers have a Tony Yarber mentality when it comes to dealing with people, entitlement and ego. But I don't think Yarber ever bent a truck driver over.

Kingfish said...

When is the last time you read about a steroid bust?

Anonymous said...

Probably the last article I read about the Olympics?

Anonymous said...

The person that should have been fired was the Range Officer who let this trooper shoot live fire with not one, not two, but three different weapons before judging him impaired. This lack of observation and immediate intervention jeopardized the safety of every person at the range on this day and is inexcusable.

For the lawyers out there, since this fellow had a documented medical condition and was under the care of a physician and both facts were presumably well known by his employer, is DPS exposed to a potential claim for violations of his Family Medical Leave Act rights due to the adverse employment action?

Anonymous said...

12:41; Do you have knowledge that he had invoked his FMLA rights? If he had and has returned to work without restriction, his FMLA coverage ended when he returned. If his physician returned him to work with a restriction for being medically impaired by the continued use of medication, that should be documented in his medical file and would have been communicated by HR to his supervisor.

While a prescription will usually get you out of a hot-pee test when the MRO knows about the prescription, you will not be able to claim FMLA protection forever while taking meds.

Anonymous said...

Several years ago a trooper showed up to the troop in Greenwood drunk. They drove him home and told him to sleep it off. Boy the stories I could tell.

Anonymous said...

5:49 - That can't be true. My friend, when pulled over and road tested, asked the officer could he just take him home...was told by the trooper, "We don't run a damned taxi service!"

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