Tuesday, January 22, 2019

First DPS, Now MDOC Wants to Hide

Uh-oh.  The MDOC Commissioner went complaining to the legislature that the public records laws are too tough.  The Clarion-Ledger reported last week:


The Mississippi Department of Corrections wants the Legislature to exempt the agency from parts of the Public Records Act, including the requirement that documents be provided within a maximum of 14 business days.
MDOC Commissioner Pelicia Hall made the request during an appearance Wednesday before the Senate Corrections Committee as she outlined the agency's legislative priorities for 2019.

Hall said some requests for records appear to be "a fishing expedition."

"There should be some limits on what you are transparent about," Hall said before the committee.

"The Public Records Act shouldn't be used as a fishing expedition," she said....

 Hall and MDOC attorney Andrea Barnes, who handles public records requests, also complained about the time-frame to produce records. The normal requirement is seven days to produce records, but this can be extended to 14 days with notice to the person requesting records and an explanation of the delay.

MDOC wants more time to respond to lengthy or multiple requests; to prevent people from using the Public Records Act to get around the discovery process in pending litigation; and to prevent the disclosure of information the department considers a threat to the security of inmates and staff. Rest of article.

Keep in mind that 14 days means 14 business days - roughly three weeks.  JJ is so sorry Commissioner Hall actually has to do her job.  If she can't handle the duties of the position, perhaps she should resign. Let me spell it out for you, Commissioner.  You, the public employee, work for us.  That means you are accountable to us.  Sorry, but we don't trust you or any other public official, especially when your predecessor is serving a long prison sentence for masterminding one of the largest public corruption cases in Mississippi history.  Part of transparency is accountability.  If transparency is reduced, you and your agency are less accountable to us, your boss. 

A troubling pattern is emerging as both the MDOC and DPS Commissioners are asking the legislature to ease the burden of transparency and accountability.  Governor Phil Bryant should publicly rebuke his employees for doing so. 

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

A will and pleasure appointment of the Governor should not ask the legislature for anything that he or she has not cleared with the Governor first.

Anonymous said...

Let me say this. I recently visited the facility at Pearl. Guards briefly looked in my vehicle when I arrived at the facility. I dropped off my kinfolk for the visit and left the facility. I returned when visitation was scheduled to be over and they waved me through without checking my vehicle when I reentered the property. No wonder there is so much contraband getting into the MDOC facilities.

Cousin Eddie said...

Investigative reporting taking a nosedive & now the state agencies wanting to block public records.

Next Stop: A Dictator Government!

I've been watching on Nat Geo TV.The Dictator Playbook! Great Stuff.

GOD Bless America! Make America Great Again!

Don't believe your assault rifle in your closet will save you.

Cynical Sam said...

Miss Pelicia, what do you have to hide?

Anonymous said...

Geez....further ineptitude ...

Anonymous said...

Well she did work for Fisher. What do you expect to happen?

Anonymous said...

I’d like to know how 12:58 knows there’s an assault rifle in my closet

Anonymous said...

Bye Pelicia!

Anonymous said...

So Pelicia and Marshall.........exactly how much of the taxpayer's money have you spent concealing potentially embarrassing information? I guess ya didn't leave the MDOC in such great shape after all, huh?

Be honest, for once.

Anonymous said...

But how are Phil and friends going to hide all their dirty money if they are forced to publicly disclose their backroom deals?

Anonymous said...

Welcome to the new and improved GOP of Trump and Bryant.

Anonymous said...

Kingfish comments are spot on. It will take a long time to change the culture at MDOC. It might not ever happen.

Anonymous said...

Lest we not forget that Jim Hood has often been an opponent to transparency regarding the machinations of the AG's office.

Anonymous said...

She wants to hide how much more she is paying private prisons than regional jails run by the counties. So let me just go ahead and tell you that it cost more than 20 dollars per inmate per day to place inmates in private prisons rather than regional jails. So there you have it. MDOC is broke and wants to hide why.

Get A Real Job! said...

How many agencies are run by gubernatorial appointment? Hood, Hall and Fisher all want to be exempt from transparency. How many does that leave? Sorry, but you whining titty-babies are subject to the laws of this state and you don't get to change that fact by whining to the legislature. Your option is to retire or seek other employment, perhaps in the private sector.

Anonymous said...

Kingfish and JJ may very well make more public records requests than any media outlet in the state.

Looks like some feathers have been ruffled. I hope the legislature tells Pelicia to pound sand.

Keep it up KF !

Anonymous said...

11:21 - high-level will and pleasure employees are out of control. Dewey is ready to drop the mic and leave. He don't care what they do.

Anonymous said...

MDOC's Commissioner is about as crocked as Epps! Look for the FEDS to get involved quickly - they are keeping an eye on her and others!

Anonymous said...

9:10 - That's no sudden decision on his part. He's NEVER cared what any appointee does. The last time the Governor's staff had to call an agency head on the carpet, Fordice was in office.

Anonymous said...

Should we ask Chris Epps what he thinks about MDOC keeping all their dirt on the down low?


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