Thursday, February 21, 2019

Repost: NAACP's Derrick Johnson is NOT an Attorney, He Just Plays One for $40,000

This is a repost from March 7, 2011.  Be patient, all will be made clear soon enough.

Should the Hinds County Board of Supervisors pay $40,000 to Derrick Johnson for redistricting voters in the county per his contract? Pete Perry, Chairman of the Hinds County Republican Executive Committee, told the Board in its regular meeting this morning Mr. Johnson's contract was not legal and he would go to court if necessary to block payment.

 Note: Video of meeting and JFP interview posted below.
Update: Case law added to post

Mr. Perry said Mr. Johnson is not a licensed attorney in Mississippi. A screen shot posted above shows Mr. Johnson is not licensed among the Bar's list of licensed attorneys. The Bar verified in a phone call Mr. Johnson is not licensed in Mississippi. Mr. Johnson's status as a licensed attorney in Mississippi is important because the Board of Supervisors awarded him a contract at the December 20, 2010 meeting. The Board did not require public bids because it was a professional services contract, which under state law, are exempt from public bidding procedures. The agreement states at the top of the first page (posted below) it is a "Contract for Professional Services for Hinds County Redistricting."

The Board minutes for December 20, 2010 state

RESOLVED to approve entering into a contract with D. L. Johnson Consultants, LLC, for $40,000.00, to perform redistricting for Hinds County using the 2010 census, pending Board Attorney approval."

Mr. Johnson stated at the beginning of the special meeting on the Board of Supervisors on February 22, 2011

 "The proposal I submitted is a professional services proposal. It is not required by state law to have a bid... Professional services is not required to have a bid." (See 24:00 minute mark on this video.)

 The hiring of Mr. Johnson for $40,000, twice the amount charged by Central Mississippi Planning & Development District, generated no small amount of controversy. The hiring of Mr. Johnson was not placed on the agenda for the December 20 meeting. Several supervisors justified his hiring by arguing he was also providing legal services. Here are some choice quotes:

"A portion of the $40,000 in fees will pay for Johnson to represent the county in addressing any legal concerns that arise as a result of the redistricting.

Those legal fees are already being put to use. Johnson is currently looking into one matter that could require Hinds County to hold elections in 2011 and again in 2012.

Smith said the county attorney doesn’t have the experience to handle redistricting lawsuits. “The board attorney only handles day-to-day stuff,” he said...

Johnson will also represent the county if any challenges to the redistricting are brought up in court. Johnson couldn’t be reached for comment.

District One Supervisor Robert Graham said he supported Johnson because of his experience. According to the Mississippi NAACP’s Web site, Johnson received his juris doctorate from South Texas College of Law in Houston and his bachelor’s from Tougaloo College." February 8, 2011 Northside Sun

Mr. Graham told Fox40 last week: ""Mr. Johnson is also an attorney. Mr. Johnson is also an individual who is familiar with the law". (No wonder he ran out when this came up today.)

Mrs. Hobson-Calhoun stated on February 25 to the Clarion-Ledger

She said the board considered "all ramifications" in hiring Johnson at the Jan. 18 meeting. His fee includes crafting the districts, maps and materials, and the services of an attorney, she said.

"In 2000, we did pay $20,000" for a redistricting consultant, Calhoun said. "But, everything goes up. The cost of providing services goes up. If CMPDD had done our redistricting now, an additional attorney would have cost an additional amount of money.

However, Section 19-3-69 of the Mississippi Code has something to say about who a county can hire under a professional services contract:

"The board of supervisors of each county may, in its discretion, contract with certain professionals when the board determines that such professional services are necessary and in the best interest of the county.

The board of supervisors shall spread upon its minutes its finding that the professional services are necessary and in the best interest of the county. The contract for professional services shall be approved by the attorney for the board of supervisors and made a part of the minutes.

A professional within the meaning of this section shall be limited to:
(a) Attorneys at law, admitted to practice law in this state by the State Board of Bar Admissions;"

The ability of the Board to hire professionals is limited also to doctors, CPA's, engineers, realtors, surveyors, auctioneers, appraisers, and architects. All must be licensed in the state of Mississippi.

The Mississippi Supreme Court reinforced this interpretation of the statute in the 2004 State v. Madison County Board of Supervisors decision when it invalidated Madison County's attempt to get around bid requirements by hiring an unlicensed appraiser:

"Miss.Code Ann. § 19-3-69(f) clearly establishes that appraisers with whom the county contracts for personal services must be licensed by the Mississippi Real Estate Commission or as otherwise provided by law, and Herring and his employees are not licensed by the Real Estate Commission or any other licensing body. Furthermore, Miss.Code Ann. § 73-34-5(3) refers to salaried employees of the county, and the contract between the county and Herring clearly requires that Herring and his employees remain employees of Herring; and therefore, they are not "salaried" employees of Madison County...

 Furthermore, the trial court erred in determining that the contract was a valid personal services contract such that it was exempt from the advertisement-for-bids requirement." Opinion, 873 So.2d 85 (2004).

Mr. Perry argued with the Board over whether Mr. Johnson's contract was legal. Mr. Graham immediately left the room when the discussion started. Several supervisors said CMPDD was not a law firm, therefor, the hiring of CMPDD for redistricting in years past was no different than the hiring of Mr. Johnson. However, CMPDD is the creation of Hinds County and several other government agencies. The hiring of such an entity does not fall under the professional services statute. Some supervisors tried to offer a defense of Mr. Johnson, asking would it matter if he had an attorney on staff at his company (The Bar would take GREAT offense to such an arrangement. Ask Steve Patterson what the Mississippi Bar thought of firms offering legal services that had shareholders that were not licensed attorneys.).

Board Attorney Crystal Martin told Mr. Perry she wanted to investigate for a several days to determine whether Mr. Johnson could in fact be hired by the county for professional services. The Board supported Mrs. Martin and tabled further discussion on the matter.

Left unspoken was what action the Board will take if Mr. Johnson's contract is canceled. The Board can accept his redistricting plans as it can from any member of the public. However, if Mr. Perry has his way, Mr. Johnson will get a chance to show the public how much he does indeed serve the public as his work will be pro bono.

Stay tuned.


Anonymous said...

Pete Perry is a big bag of fart gas just like his friend Robert Miller. Derrick Johnson is racist thug. Welcome to Jackson, Mississippi.

Anonymous said...

Remember when the disciples assumed that when Jesus said he was coming back, he meant during their life time?

That's how I feel waiting on this story line to unfold.

Anonymous said...

Who was the board attorney? Was his/her competence ever an issue when he/she was hired? The new makeup of Hinds County means there are now some new sacred cows whose competence and ability to perform must not be questioned. Until Hinds County taxpayers start a barbeque of these sacred cows (and bulls) or their relatives/friends they will continue to milk the County at will. They see Hinds as their private cash cow. Are the voters cattle or what?

Anonymous said...

Yazoo City just hired H A Y E S Dent at $3,000.00 month for 12 anything is possible.

Anonymous said...

Hell, you people, Make-Believe-Leftenant Roberto Grahams has been masquerading as a certified, trained law enforcement officer for thirty or forty years, training peoples without having the required credentials to do so and prancing around with a tin badge as if he were legit. You all quit pickin' on these black brothers.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Perry, like that greaseball from MC Law School, Steffey, is a bag of hot gas....but he's right on this one. And neither of them should get near an open flame, ever!

Anonymous said...

Awesome! Thank you! I feel exactly the same. Quit dragging this out and say something!!!!

Anonymous said...

Based on the comments, people are increasingly not giving a damn. The county districts are for supervisors and constables. I shudder to say this, but the supervisor situation is stable in Hinds County and it could be FAR worse.

The real issue in Hinds is the DA and the judges and the criminal justice system. And that has nothing at all to do with district lines. As long as Hinds elects Shuler Smith and Tommie Green and Victor Mason, they bring doom upon themselves. You can't redraw maps to get yourself out of that.

Anonymous said...

Derrick is a huckster but he has moved far beyond the small fish in small ponds. He has gone national. He has 5 or 6 very nice incomes coming in from all of the community organizing entities he is CEO of now. $40,000 was just a launching pad for him. He wouldn't give Hinds the time of day for $40,000 now.

Anonymous said...

I shudder to say this, but the supervisor situation is stable in Hinds County and it could be FAR worse.

If that psycho David Archie wins this year it WILL be far, far worse.

Anonymous said...

Have to agree with 7:28. Who would the five supes be if Pete won his lawsuit 8 years ago? This board has been so much better than the pre-2010 census board. By a country mile.

Anonymous said...

3:38 - Hayes Dent is not pretending to be an attorney. Can you see the difference?

Anonymous said...

How is he pretending to be an attorney?

Anonymous said...

The point is both are "pretenders" entered into freeloader contracts with a municipality.

Anonymous said...

Hayes must be selling out cheap! Jackson is paying it's lobbyist - who cannot get anything accomplished in the legislature - over $10,000 a month.

Anonymous said...

No shame in contracting with government bodies. It's done every day. Such contracts are public information and open to public inspection. Most are reputable, outside of Jackburg. 8:48 - Please reread the post. He is NOT pretending to be an attorney as was insinuated by the dullard posting at 3:38.

Anonymous said...

8:03 - where would Hinds BOS be - based on the fact it is 'better' today? Fact is, it is better today because Doug Anderson died, removing one of the obstacles and individuals whose entire role on the board was 'not so much as what we spend money on, or how much, but rather - who gets it'. The other change was George Smith was replaced by Bobcat McGowan - basically an even swap since neither one amounts to a spit in the ocean.

Doug died; was replaced by Darrell McQuirter. That changed the balance of power so that Robert Graham and his Motorola contracts and his Derrick Johnson love affair were no longer possible. That's why the BOS is 'better' today, and the issue raised by Perry has nothing to do with the situation looking backward.

But where would we be? We might not have Robert Graham anymore on the board - as Graham stated at the time "he wasn't doing this to lose". Replacing Graham with an honest vote would greatly improve the BOS for no other reason than you wouldn't have to work around him on many of the issues that arise. Also, note that the Phil Fisher/Tony Greer/Mike Morgan seat was a big part of the argument, and that Morgan (a good supervisor) won his election last time by 400 votes, as did JCJ Morton, while the constable lost his seat by 200 votes. When those races come back up this year, the odds of winning them are slim due to the plan created by Graham and his sidekick Johnson.

Also, forgotten on everyone here is that this plan affected the districts for the Election Commission - where in the last election due to the changes in District 4 - Connie Cochran was defeated. Now Hinds County has a totally incompetent group of five election commissioners that can't even get along with themselves, much less run an honest, and efficient, election.

Where would we be "if"? Maybe we would be able to retain a white, Republican supervisor in the Clinton/South Hinds area; maybe we would be able to elect an honest supervisor in NE Jackson; maybe we could retain an honest an competent JCJ; maybe we could have at least one member on the Election Commission that had an idea of what has to be done and makes sure it happens.

Maybe we would still have the change in District 2 because Anderson was going to die anyway - the other changes would all be positive. And besides, the process then would have been done legally and in accordance with the federal laws regulating the process.

I'm glad that some folks were willing to back this effort of Fisher, Perry, and the county party. Wonder if the case will ever be resolved.

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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.

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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.

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