Sunday, February 11, 2018

Oops!

Federal Railroad Administration Deputy Administrator Heath Hall was forced to resign his position yesterday after Politico questioned the activities of a public relations company he owns in Mississippi, Strategic Marketing Group.  Mr. Hall is a resident of Madison County.  Politico reported:


A top official charged with overseeing the safety of the nation's railroads has resigned "effective immediately," the Department of Transportation said Saturday after POLITICO raised questions about whether he was simultaneously working as a public relations consultant in Mississippi....

 Heath Hall became the Federal Railroad Administration's acting chief after being appointed deputy administrator in June. But he subsequently appeared at least twice in local media reports last summer as a sheriff's department spokesman in Madison County, Miss., where he has long run a public relations and political consulting firm.The firm also continued to receive payments from the county for its services from July through December, despite Hall's pledge in a federal ethics form that the business would be "dormant" while he worked at DOT.... Rest of article.

 Madison County paid $12,000 to Strategic Marketing Group in the second half of 2017.  The last payment was made in December. 

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Hatch Act would give me a hint. Does no one take civics or poly sci in college anymore?

It's important to know how government is supposed to work if you work in government.

Are the lawyers in this administration incompetent or is their advice being ignored or are they afraid to speak up?

And, Bannon apparently doesn't know that patrimony is the property/assets inherited from one's father and that domestic abuse allegations couldn't possibly affect what any man gives or leaves his children. Patriarchy is probably what he meant to say .

If you are going to take a job in or write a book on a subject, do your homework!



Anonymous said...

Just what is Strategic Marketing Group?

We are here to help you market strategically. Our group of strategic marketing experts will help you market your product or idea in the most strategic method possible. As a group of strategic marketing consultants, we are experts in marketing strategies. For only $2000 a month, our group of marketing strategists will provide cutting edge strategies to enhance marketability and strategery.

For more information, contact Heath Hall, Sr. Executive Deputy Administrator GS17, Federal Railroad Administration, Strategic Marketing Department, Washington, DC

Anonymous said...

"The Dumbing Down of American is complete" is a series you can find on YouTube that asks college students questions they should know like who won the civil war,when did it end, who are the vice-presidential candidates (in 2016). They showed them pictures of political leaders they should know or at least be able to name...all failed.1 even said "Nixon" when shown a picture of Reagan.
The worst though is that they could ALL correctly identify Kim Kardashian's picture and knew who Angelina Jolie was married to

Anonymous said...

But the Chief of Staff for Speaker Gunn can run a business doing energy audits for cities while pulling down 10 grand per month from taxpayers. No conflict there.

Anonymous said...

How the heck is a PR guy qualified to run a large federal agency? Who does he have naked pictures of to get appointed that job?

Fan of City of New Orleans Special said...

9:48 - The Hatch Act has nothing to do with this.

Heath Hall has less Railroad and Transportation knowledge than the bartender at Outback. But, none is required, apparently. He's tight with Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chow who is tight with (married to) the Senate Majority Leader who is tight with the president.

Payback jobs are common and standard in a political spoils system and to be expected, but, running a multi-billion dollar railway system? For a Busch League PR guy from Madison County who has run a few $80,000 local campaigns?

And we thought we had seen insanity when Gil Carmichael, failed Mississippi gubernatorial candidate from Meridian, was selected to run Amtrak twenty years ago.

Anonymous said...

I imagine as the trains keep falling off the tracks and lawyers start asking questions......he decided it’d be best to get off this job at the closest station since he is not qualified to do any part of it.

He might earn a nickname like “brownie.”

Anonymous said...

Ann Lamar was a Supreme Court justice who also happens to serve on the Institutions for Higher Learning (IHL) Board overseeing colleges and universities. Her husband is the lawyer representative for one of those colleges, and their dumb as a rock son, Trey was elected (unopposed) in District 8 (Tate and Lafayette Counties (ahem, Oxford) and whose Committee memberships include, ready for this? Vice-Chair of Ways and Means (tax writing) and Universities and Colleges......hmmmmmm, anything wrong with this picture folks?

In Mississippi you wanna know why so many are born and inbred? and why they say incest is best? One can go across the street....or easier still, you can go across the hall. The Lamar name is synonymous with graft and corruption, yet Mississippians love it!

Anonymous said...

So....Let me see if I got this right. This Hall guy was put in a GS 17 or GS 18 level job making considerable federal money with benefits, a few weeks later he goes on extended paid leave to take care of a family problem back in Madison, continues to draw a federal paycheck while on leave, for months, and gives all that up over a little chump change he had coming in from the Madison County Sheriff?

And, wait! He had zero qualifications for that federal job to begin with? This must go under the heading of (fill in the blank _________).

Why does a sheriff need a PR guy to begin with? There's a rat on the tracks.

Anonymous said...

Welcome to Mississippi. The guv and guv jr and speaker all have similar lapdogs drawing taxpayer salaries. Good salaries.

Anonymous said...

Heath Hall. The Taggert guy. Nathan Wells. Same career path. Do nothing. Earn nothing. Know the right people. Get rich on tax payers money. Write newspaper articles. Be a big fish in a mud puddle.

Anonymous said...

It sounds like he violated a rule he knew about and signed that he wouldn’t violate, but doesn’t this seem strange? He has at least 3 employees per their website and he could still be the owner of the company, right? I would think it would be enough for him not to draw a salary or be involved in management decisions. If Bill Gates took a cabinet post, he would have to not be involved in management, but it’s not like Microsoft would suspend operations.

Anonymous said...

7:35 - The difference is that Bill Gates probably would not state "The company will be dormant while I serve in this role"....

The word 'Dormant' has meaning.

Anonymous said...

11:38 am I wrote that the Hatch Act should give a " hint" . Please try to think.

If there exists an act for federal employees that prevents them from engaging in partisan politics and you know that exists because you graduated from high school, once you take a position in federal government wouldn't you think to ask about what you can do politically and what you can and can't financially accept in that position ?

Also, I can understand wanting a job so badly, you take it without knowing what it entails. I don't understand not trying to find out if a second job is acceptable to your employer.

This screams incompetence.

Anonymous said...

Hall is a first class light weight.

Anonymous said...

7:11 - Please educate yourself by doing a bit of elementary research. The Hatch Act has nothing to do with 'second jobs' or working a job in the private and public sector (federally funded) simultaneously. It seems you're either into fabrication or stretching something to fit your narrative....however, even YOU can't stretch this one to fit.

Let me help you though: If Mr. Hall, as a federal employee, were to run a business back home and require or coerce his employees to vote republican, that could be a violation of The Act. Or if he were to demand that the Sheriff, as a condition of keeping the PR contract, publicly support the candidacy of a federal candidate, that could be a violation.

You're going to be fine. Just familiarize yourself with the Hatch Act.

Anonymous said...

Wait. I though the conservatives were for smaller government and no free handouts.

Anonymous said...

@ 5:01, I think Trey is pretty smart and very honest. Of course, he's no politician. He's more in the statesman model - more about how he can help and less about he can help himself.

Anonymous said...

It seems funny to me that the county would still pay him at all. The county knew he took the federal job and that he canceled anything he had going on with them yet they kept cutting a check to him for the last half of the year. Where are the checks and balances for who ever approved cutting him a check? Hall isnt the only one at fault here.

Anonymous said...

@ 10:35AM Trey Lamar was asked to his face to comment on funding issues related to the college his father represents as a lawyer, his response was: "I can't comment due to my having a conflict of interest". LOL His mother sits on the IHL board and he's on the committee for colleges and universities in his district! Since WHEN have the Lamars ever cared about conflicts of interest!? Never. It's the Mississippi way. Laughable that you think he's smart. He's a tool of his parents, nothing more. Living the good life bequeathed and benefitting him from generations on down from the Lamar gentry of the Ole' Missus from up on the Oxford Plantation.

Anonymous said...

4:54, Don't know why you have a butt hurt over Trey Lamar - obviously you didn't have the cajoles to run against him, despite your obvious low opinion of him. Whatever it is, your opinion seems to be one limited to you and very few others - his mother was a very good Justice on the MSSC, and has all the qualifications to be a contributing member of the IHL. Her son sitting on U&C Committee is little or no consequence to a conflict - as a member of the IHL, she receives somewhere around $40/day for the days they meet. There is little or nothing that will come before the legislature that could be passed that would benefit her individually. His father is a lawyer in a firm representing one of the state's universities - he is not the University, so again there is little to nothing that will come there either.

We all by now recognize that Trey beat you out for most popular, or most likely to succeed in high school. Time for you to grow up and move on.

Anonymous said...

@ 5:26pm Most popular, or likely to succeed? Hahaha. That's funny. I think what is trying to be conveyed is that convincingly, there is corruption rampant throughout Mississippi "politics" and the connections run through numerous "connected" families.....but that MANY Mississippians are in fact "growing up" and are tired of it. People aren't scared of talking about the graft/nepotism anymore. Mississippi's on the verge of its own "#MeToo moment to call out all the BS that's been allowed to go on all these decades, and that keeps the State on the bottom of every list in performance. Just sayin'...

Anonymous said...

And the anonymous critic reveals himself. Time to put together a campaign.

Anonymous said...

I thought this was about Heath Hall being forced to resign. What the hell does Trey Lamar have to do with anything concerning this thread? Who the hell is he and whats his function in life other than his mamma was a judge??

Anonymous said...

@ 10:42,

Mamma: Check
Trains: Check
Trucks: Check
Prison:Possible
Getting Drunk:?

https://youtu.be/yKerLfqSYTc

This thread might just be the perfect country and western song.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes when someone leaves a job unexpectedly with little notice there is something going on behind the scenes that they're rather not tell. Can anyone say Joe Nosef?

Anonymous said...

"Sometimes when someone leaves a job unexpectedly with little notice there is something going on behind the scenes that they're rather not tell."

Maybe another local federal appointee put a bug in somebody's ear. Like Mitch?

But, at the end of the day, and assuming this boy didn't have naked pictures, one has to wonder what Mitch McConnell's wife was thinking with this appointment.

Anonymous said...

If the company was 'dormant', as promised, how did invoices surface? Who, at the Sheriff's office was shuffling and signing off on these invoices and passing them on to the county bookkeepers for payment? Who in the County Comptroller's office was viewing and approving invoices from somebody who was performing no services? If there were no invoices, what was the basis for payment? Where is the oversight? Where's the control? Where's the State Audit Department? People go to jail for this kind of shit.

This is bigger than Heath Hall. This smacks of Canton Municipal Utilities. This smacks of airport studies. This smacks of Christmas envelopes. This smacks of mysterious bridge failures and rework. This smacks of invoices for engineering work never accomplished. This smacks of theft, fraud and graft. In summary, this smacks of Madison County, Mississippi.

Anonymous said...

Heath Hall is a Gerald Steen, Michael Guest and Sheriff Tucker man!!! He will land back at the Madison County trough after all this dies down and people have forgotten about it. Hall is just arrogant enough to do it too.

I agree with 4:07 where was the over site in the administration offices? Where were the supervisors?? They ultimately approve every expenditure. Maybe Little Katie Snell can keep them taking too big of a hit on this.

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