Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Good Ole Boys Lose Another One

The long-time practice of Mississippi Mayors avoiding getting their friends confirmed by calling them  an "interim appointment" was dealt another blow last week. The Attorney General ruled that interim appointments requiring a confirmation vote can only hold office for 90 days.  The legislature placed a 180 day limit on such appointments several years ago but passed a bill this year that shortened the interim period from 180 days to 90 days if a confirmation vote is required for the appointment.  The limitation also applies to municipal boards and commissions as well.

The new law states:

(1) No person shall serve in an interim or hold-over capacity for longer than ninety (90) days in a position that is required by law to be filled by appointment of the governing body of a municipality, or by mayoral appointment with the advice and consent of the council or aldermen. If such position is not filled within ninety (90) days after the expiration of the position's term, or within ninety (90) days after the date of appointment if an interim appointment, the hold-over service or interim appointment shall terminate and no municipal funds may thereafter be expended to compensate the person serving in the position. Further, any action or vote taken by such person after the ninety-day period shall be invalid and without effect. If a council or board of aldermen rejects, or otherwise fails to confirm, an individual submitted by the mayor for appointment, the mayor may not resubmit or reappoint the same individual for that position during the remainder of the mayor's current term in office.

 The Jackson Municipal Airport Authority asked the Attorney General whether a board member whose term expired before the new law became effective on July 1 would serve 180 days or 90 days.   The A.G. responded that 90 days means 90 days.  Thus the opinion states "a municipal airport commissioner serving in a hold-over capacity on July 1, 2018 can serve no longer than 90 days from July 1, 2018" (Regardless of when he was appointed). 

State Senator Josh Harkins doggedly worked to get this law passed so as to stop the abuse of  interim appointments in Mississippi government.  Mayors have repeatedly abused this practice when they fear one of their good ole boys can't get confirmed.  They would simply call someone an "interim" appointment and presto, no confirmation vote was needed because the crony wasn't actually nominated.  Checks and balances are ignored. Councilmen and alderwomen have little remedy save going to court at their own expense.  Thus so-called "interim appointments" are in reality unconfirmed permanent appointments as such appointees  could and would at times serve for years.

The interim appointments are often not qualified to serve in their appointed positions (See Willie Bell).  Remember when Frank Melton appointed his driver to be the Director of Parks & Recreation because he knew how to play basketball? The Mayor will then attempt to make an end run around the entire confirmation process and call him an "interim" appointment but then never submits his nomination for confirmation.  It makes a mockery out of the entire concept of checks and balances.  Mayors Johnny Dupree, Chokwe Lumumba,  Les Fillingame, and Harvey Johnson all thought they were above the law as they loved to use interim appointments, checks and balances be damned.

 The same hijinks also take place with boards and commissions.  Members are allowed to serve years after their terms expired.   Millions of dollars are spent, hiring and firings of employees take place, and votes are made by members who should have no vote but hey, it's Mississippi. The new law is simply an attempt to get Mayors and their respective legislative branches to do their jobs.

Mayors will also no longer be able to thumb their noses at their councilwomen and aldermen and dare them to run to the State Auditor or Attorney General.  State Senator Harkins made it possible for voters of a municipality to enforce the law in chancery court.  If the voter wins, then the city must pay the legal fees.  No more waiting for cavalry that never comes or breaking the bank paying for a lawyer.

Kingfish note: It will be interesting to see how this applies to JPD.  Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba appointed James Davis as interim Chief of Police on June 28.  He said that the interim Chief could serve up to 180 days in that position.  However, the new law - supported by the AG's opinion - states that he can only serve 90 days without confirmation by the City Council.  His term as interim JPD Chief will expire on October 1. 

However, the Mayor can simply submit his name to the City Council for a confirmation vote.  It really is that simple.  Nominate. Vote. Confirm. 

One more thought.  It was JMAA's attorney who asked for this opinion.  Hmm..... James Henley is the Board President.  What is he up to?  Heaven knows he has created enough mischief this year.  


Anonymous said...


Now let's mandate some serious prosecution and penalties for misuse of public funds, embezzlement, outright theft and other wrongdoing.

Plus, any felony conviction while in the employ of the state shall result in complete forfeiture of all PERS benefits.

I want this BS to STOP !

Anonymous said...

Meanwhile we have Dr. Carey Wright.

Anonymous said...

This is all fun and good but we need to get back to the issues that really matter, like the state’s Dental Board!

Anonymous said...

Good Ole Boys - Always bitchin and moaning about handouts and welfare. Always bitching about deficits and government debt. Always trying to find ways to direct public money to friends and family. Always trying to find ways to scam PERS.

Most of the "fiscally conservative" politicians I have met couldn't survive in civilian life. They live and die by handouts and public money.

Anonymous said...

Could be a lot worse. The State Funeral Board, which has 7 Board members currently only has 5 members. One position has been vacant for 3 to 4 years and the other has been vacant for about a year. Beside that, the Executive Director's Administrative Assistant's position is also vacant.

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

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!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS