Monday, March 11, 2019

Money Clock Ticks for DPS in Bomgar Fight

The Mississippi Department of Public Safety has spent more than $18,000 in legal fees as it contests two $100 fines levied against two employees by the Ethics Commission. 

A cash-strapped state agency is poised to spend tens of thousands of dollars fighting a records request by a Mississippi state representative.

The Department of Public Safety and Rep. Joel Bomgar have grappled for more than a year over a letter written by the state's top drug cop.

Bomgar emailed John Dowdy, the director of the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, with questions and observations about Mississippi drug policy.

Dowdy prepared a letter and sent it to DPS officials for review, but the commissioner nixed its release.

However, DPS told Bomgar that the letter existed, so Bomgar filed a records request for that document, titled: "Rep Bomgars Answers-Final.docx."

DPS denied the request.

Bomgar filed a complaint with the Mississippi Ethics Commission, which ruled against DPS and fined two of the agency's attorneys $100 each.

Now, DPS — which has repeatedly told lawmakers it is drastically underfunded — has spent $17,737.50 to fight the case in Hinds County Chancery Court.

They will likely spend much more.

The attorney representing DPS said the agency may appeal the decision further if it loses — and DPS could end up covering Bomgar's legal fees, too....

ommy Whitfield, the private attorney representing DPS, said this case is about far more than just the $200 in fines or the Dowdy letter anymore.

"There are very few public records cases out there," Whitfield said. “...All state agencies are going to be interested in the outcome of this appeal."

According to Whitfield, there are two important points that need to be hashed out: At what point does a draft document become a public record? And what process is due to government employees before they are sanctioned?

Whitfield said the letter written by Dowdy was not something he would do in the normal scope of business and the letter wasn't finished.

When does a draft document — or a partially finished policy — become a public record that must be maintained, Whitfield asked, and when can it be deleted?

In a filing to the Ethics Commission, DPS put it this way: "Where is the line between public record and trash and do we begin to hoard it for the benefit of the citizen?"

Whitfield said DPS is also appealing the case to protect state employees from being sanctioned without due process — something that seriously concerned Hood..... Rest of article.

JJ broke this story in January.   The A.G. knew this was a dog of a case so he refused to participate in the appeal.  This case is the only time a state agency has appealed a public records ruling by the Ethics Commission.  Mr. Bomgar probably has the two best public records law attorneys in Mississippi representing him. The case is assigned to Chancellor Dewayne Thomas. 


Anonymous said...

If Dowdy wouldn't act like such an ass, he might have some public sentiment on his side. But when he called chemo patients sissies, he asked for this.

And the days are ticking down when his sidekick Bryant won't be around.

Anonymous said...

AG didn't drop this case because he "knew it was a dog", as you say KF. He dropped it because he was (1) having to defend both sides, DPS and the Ethics Commission, both of them his clients; and (2) that he thought both of them had problems with their positions. Read his comments yourself, rather than jumping to the conclusion you like.

Yes, it is a dog of a case. But, there are arguments on both sides that are worth the argument. DPS, as much as you hate it, does have an argument that there needs to be a distinction between a "public record" and trash - are draft papers public records until they are final? And as the AG said in his backing out - the attorneys being fined without due process is arguably wrong by the Commission.

But for DPS to stonewall as they did to a request for information from a legislator (like him or not, sane or crazy) was just as wrong.

Its not a dog of a case - it does raise good issues, and the AG (as much as I hate to defend the office) was right to get out of the middle of it, especially since they have lawyers involved that were the ones fined (which at this point, is the case being argued.)

Anonymous said...

What the heck is so secret in the first place? Its not like they asked for the code to the briefcase. Its a simple question.

He doesn't want to share the document because I'm sure it is full of smart assed language that will make the director look bad. You would think a dang lawyer of all people would be smart enough to never put anything in writing that he doesn't want made public, but maybe not.

Anonymous said...

"With all the pharmaceutical advancements we have seen, it would seem strange to bring pot into the equation." Phil Bryant

When your boss man says that, you have to toe the line. I mean, the drug enforcement business employs hundreds of thousands of good men and big pharma contributes millions to elected officials. We can't spoil that.

Anonymous said...

The story indicates Bomgar got the document. Has it been made public?

“Like him or not, sane or crazy....” what a gratuitous cheap shot. I think the House & Senate need to hit those goons (who believe they’re above the law) where it hurts. Start zeroing out some positions. Cut their budgets.

Anonymous said...

It's fun spending other peoples money on bullshit.

Hermit King said...

If we can't have transparency on small thinks like a legislator asking for clarification on a policy, then how can we trust them to be honest about:

Civil forfeiture
Fatal car accidents involving officers
Fatal shootings involving officers
Sexual harassment disciplinary actions
Whistle blowers found dead in rest stop stalls
Undercover rose bud trimming

You have to maintain a level of public trust or you can no long fulfill your oath or mission statement of serving the public.

4:21 pm here said...

4:57 - yes, read the story. DPS released the document - Bomgar has it. Need any further help understanding?

The argument is over the Ethics Commission fine of the lawyers for giving legal advice. The early fight was over releasing the document. Early fight is over; the $200 fine is being appealed.

And "Like him or not, sane or crazy" was not gratuitous - it was realistic. I do like him. And I think he is both sane, and crazy. Among those that deal with him, many like him and many don't. Many think he is brilliant, others think he has several loose screws. In this evaluation, it could be applied to other members of the legislature (although there aren't many that would fit in the brilliant category.)

Spotting Useless People.. said...

It's a shame that Feel Brant won't be around to appoint Dowdy to some higher level office. In fact, Dowdy and Fisher ought to be one behind the other in the unemployment-office line. WAIT! Make room for Hyde-Bryant-Smith. Now that duck season is extended by two days, we have no further use for her either.

Anonymous said...

I just scanned the article but the headline says enough! The state has spent almost 18k over 2 100.00 fines and the plan is to spend more?? This is absurd. And these are the people we have in charge of some of our money. Lord help us please!

Anonymous said...

6:06 - so, these two lawyers, state employees,should have to pay out of their pocket the fines issued by the (unelected) Ethics Commission on them personally for doing their job, which is giving legal advice to the agency heads?

If it was you - and the fine was coming out of your paycheck for doing what your job required of you to do - would you think the state should defend you? Or would you just pony up and pay the fine instead of applying it to your mortgage or your kid's tuition?

Anonymous said...

This is what happens when bureaucrats get to spend other people's money. Just to prove they are right.

Anonymous said...

I am an attorney in private practice. Recently, a prospective client wanted to hire me to represent him on a bad check charge that he said he already paid off almost 20 years ago. He said he wanted to fight the demand for payment, as it had already been paid, and he wanted to fight the criminal charge, because it was so long ago. I suggested that, if the D.A. will drop it in exchange for payment of the check, his best course may be to go pay the $142.00 and go live his life.

Anonymous said...

Bombarded is an independent think and doesn’t roll over when threatened by the GOB in Jackson. That must be why they went out and recruited a good candidate to run against him. Can’t have them boys asking no questions.

Anonymous said...


Dont'cha just love autocorrect?

Everyone please keep in mind that Joel Bomgar is a true public servant. Isn't he a tech billionaire by now? He doesn't need SLRP or campaign contributions from out of state lobbyists. He is in office for his constituents.

Anonymous said...

All dots can be connected right back to the one and only Marshall Fisher. I have seen and read about all I can stand to read. Wow. Bless you people of MS. The one thing you will not do is defeat him. He will go to the end of the Earth if that’s what it takes. Dowdy. Don’t know him I’ve heard for years through the federal entity that he is a snake. I know he is a great pal of Fisher which I know well. Fisher is not missed in any previous places he has ever been assigned. He will inflict way more damage from his position over the next few months. You will not beat him Sir. He will spend the taxpayers money on the counsel that I’ve heard reports of that follow him around daily like puppies. They don’t get more rotten that Marshall Fisher. He is a web of lies and secrets.

Anonymous said...

708, if you think Bartley was 'recruited' to run against Bomgar, you obviously know little of anything about politics under the Capitol dome. Yes, some folks don't like Joel's style, or for some his policies - but the only person that recruited Bartley was Bartley himself.

Rather the crazy you know, rather than a new one that you only know about.

Anonymous said...

8:09 “ some don’t like Joel’s style, or for some his policies” I think you would be more accurate to say, no one likes Joel except some democrats and some House members from Desoto. Joel has to pay Democrat’s to sponsor bills for him because he can’t put his name on anything because it’s DOA if he does. Joel could spend 1m next time not get elected in Madison county. He has no support, Law Enforcemento state wide is against him, has given 350k towards a marijuana initiative, the only republican to vote against the dog fighting bill, not one elected official in Madison will endorse him and the Coup de grĂ¢ce, Bill Billingsly supports him, which is the death nail in Madison County politics.

Anonymous said...

Marshall Fisher has always had a bit of nazism in him. Marshall is the problem, not Dowdy.

Anonymous said...

Bartley sure thinks he was recruited because that is what he tells everybody. He doesn't even look like he wants to run. But he is fantastic at posting pictures of himself standing next to people.

Anonymous said...

Did Bomgar beat Bartley 2 or 3,000 votes last time I can’t remember? That’s to Bomgar for having the balls to stand up for the tax payer

Anonymous said...

Bomgar vs Bartley? I'll take my chances with Bruce Bartley.

Anonymous said...

It seems very difficult for people with a desire for political power to understand what to do with people who don’t care about political power. Fisher, meet Bomgar. He’s the opposite of you. He is transparent. He got into politics because he wanted to change the game and bring real solutions in education and end the drug war. Fisher, you got into government work for the paycheck and ego boost. You have done nothing innovative. Your friends are your old back slapping buddies. Your enemies are the friends of freedom. You are on the wrong side of history friend. Bomgar has enemies also. His enemies are the enemies of freedom. Republicans hate him because he supports freedom of all people, not just the rich ones, and he doesn’t play by GOP rules. They don’t understand how a conservative can be so honest about what conservatism really means. Democrats hate his stance on education and small government. So Fisher, if you are going to go to war with this guy, you will first have to understand he is not like the politicians you are used to dealing with. And when you do that, you will stop asking yourself “can I” and start asking yourself “should I.” You should never have withheld the document even though you could. You should never have appealed even though you could. It’s not just about wasting taxpayer money. It’s that you can’t win a war about principle with a guy who has more principles in his pinky finger than all the other politicians in the state combined. Maybe the sanctions set a bad precedent, but it never would have happened if you had done what you should have done to be transparent instead of what you thought you could get away with.

Anonymous said...

Everyone posting, but no one reading the article. The statement was written and scheduled to be released upon approval of the commissioner, but the commissioner refused to release this record/statement request. That’s the reason for the $200 fine. It’s in black and white

Anonymous said...

I'm in law enforcement and support Bomgar. The war on drugs as currently fought is a money grab and does nothing to actually stop drug use. About the only thing we managed to do is move some meth production to Mexico from domestic labs while not allowing the population to buy cold medicine. Meanwhile you can get whatever drugs you want in the state's prisons. It is sad, but even if we did manage to eliminate drugs some of the same people would be huffing gasoline or drinking mouthwash.

The drug problem can be reduced but all factors need to be looked at and each one approached differently. Some of it is based on the mentally ill and depressed self medicating, some people tried drugs for one reason or another and are truly addicted, some of it is pure recreation, and some of it is just criminals doing whatever is profitable. All of these need different enforcement approaches. The addicts and mentally ill users need treatment of some sort, the recreational user is typically not stealing lawnmowers to sell for drug money in thebfirst place, and the criminal will go right back to other crimes if drugs are not profitable.

Anonymous said...

Thought Bartley was working for DOR ?? Sure had a ton of pictures on his Facebook

Anonymous said...

6:49 pm I understand your rationale and in most cases , it's the one I follow and would encourage. Engaging in any legal battle is time consuming and expensive and life is short.

Unfortunately, that has opened a door for sociopaths among us. That $142 recharged years later to thousands of poor folks gets to be " real" money and the corrupt know that.

The best example is insurance companies paying " go away money" on bogus claims. As a result, making bogus claims has become it's own cottage industry, even invading businesses.

Picking your battles has become more difficult. But, I agree in this case, it's not about the law or pragmatism , but about politics and political hubris.

Public records should be just that. Public. If it's a draft, as claimed, drafts get trashed the minute the formal document is completed. This taxpayer money is being spent on childish petulance and I don't need to meet the parties or know the law or know the politics to see that.

Anonymous said...

To @8:13, well said.

Anonymous said...

I'm in law enforcement and support Bomgar.

Not buying it.

Anonymous said...

Mayor Gene McGee is one of Bartley's biggest supporters. That's not exactly the same as being recruited by Haley Barbour or Ronald Reagan, but Bruce Bartley thinks it is.

Joel has made plenty of people mad with his ill-conceived votes on "principle" but Bruce is the only person dumb enough to think he can out work or out spend Joel in a campaign. Neither is possible by anybody in Madison county.

Anonymous said...

Back to the original discussion....when is somebody going to file an ethics complaint about this department spending $18,000 over hurt feelings? Where is the public good coming from this expenditure? Shad? Can you look into this since you don't have any campaign obligations?

Anonymous said...

This is what happens when the Governor appoints a tyrant to run DPS. That communist asshole needs to ride off into the sunset and don’t stop until he’s about three states over. He’s ruined a great agency with his bs.

Anonymous said...

Alpha Male Bartley vs Gender Confused Beta Male Bomgar. Bomgar needs to run in San Francisco with his liberal pot smoking ideology.

Dopers to Re-Elect Joel Bomgar said...

In 7 months (through end of February 2019) of campaign finance filings Mississippians for Compassionate Care -- the PAC acting as a front organization to push the (wink, wink) medical marijuana initiative -- has raised $754,418.

Mississippi House Representative Joel Bomgar (R-Tokeville) has contributed $500,000 or 66.3% of all contributions.

Bomgar contributions:

August 8, 2018 = $30,000
August 10, 2018 = $20,000
September 13, 2018 = $100,000
November 1, 2018 = $100,000
January 2, 2019 = $100,000
February 1, 2019 = $30,000
February 21, 2019 = $60,000
February 27, 2019 = $60,000

Somehow this isn't newsworthy for Mississippi's lamestream or alt media.

Anonymous said...

@10:58 Believe it. We can and do lock druggies up when they break all the other laws associated with criminal drug use behavior such as theft, larceny, embezzlement, DUI, assault, murder, and even tax evasion. All of that is already illegal and can be prosecuted without the "war on drugs". Just like all of the hysteria over DUI with associated piles of cash. Driving recklessly is already illegal, people just don't want to put any teeth into the enforcement statute because it would also cover cell phone use. If texting and driving recklessly carried the same penalty and enfircemrnt priority as a DUI the behavior would stop most ricky tick.

Anonymous said...

A former colleague notified me yesterday of our former colleague Marshall Fisher and his actions over in MS. Finding a way to manipulate yet another system and play reindeer games with someone. No one knows how to better than M. Fisher. When is enough enough Fisher. Come on! You have ruined lives by your actions and decisions repeatedly and usually the ones that stand in your way. Please sir. Do not get involved in a blood bath debate on who is right with M. Fisher. He will spend an endless amount of time and money to meet his goals.

Anonymous said...

We might as well go ahead and file ethics complaints against all those in the house and senate voting for the new, even more restrictive abortion ban that will once again force the taxpayers to pay to defend an unconstitutional law. Way to waste the little money we have idiots.

Anonymous said...

11:19, Bomgar is a lot of things, but gender confused? Too many people know him to let you get away with that comment. I don’t think Bomgar has ever come within 10 feet of marijuana. But he did watch two parents die gruesome cancer deaths while fighting through chemo and he can tell you first hand of people who have wasted their lives hooked on prescription opioids. This is a personal passion for him, but your comments are uninformed and uncalled for.

Anonymous said...

I don’t think Bomgar has ever come within 10 feet of marijuana.


Anonymous said...

2:27 you must be a moron or high to think he doesn’t smoke on a regular basis. No one puts 500k into something they don’t do.

Anonymous said...

@4:06 PM

What about Morgan & Morgan? They say that they invested $1 million to pass medical Marijuana in Florida.

For the people

Offices In Jackson... said...

Morgan ah Morgan ah Morgan pumped thousands into the Hillary Clinton campaign. That's all I need to know.

Anonymous said...

I like the poster who used the word “Dopers”. He probably call it Mary Jane. Sounds like Dowdy.

Anonymous said...

I spent 3 years in the MS Air National Guard with Joel Bomgar. He is a Patriot and a Christian. Those two traits should be enough to endear him to the majority of Mississippi voters.
Joel also has an undeniable genius. I watched him read the test manual,at drill,for the CCNA Exam and successfully pass the certification exam the first try. This was when he was like 19 years old and at Belhaven studying Early Quaker Dance Theory or something. I thought he was the goofiest son of a bitch I had ever met.
Next thing I know he’s the founder and CEO of a multinational tech company AND he’s still in Mississippi creating jobs for Mississippians.
This state needs more politicians like Noel Bomgar.

Joel Bomgar for Governor!!

Anonymous said...

Amen 9:20. So many country ass, nothing commenters on this stupid site. Bomgar created. These people weep at their own "loserness" (is that a word?)

Anonymous said...

@920 everyone needs an endorsement like that-to ruin a political career! LOL

Anonymous said...

I love watching you Liberal-Tarians defend your own. You’re just like liberal democrats, you have to be right no matter how crazy your candidate is. Y’all would start your own party but there is one problem, there isn’t enough of you so you want to try and take over the Republican Party. The other problem is your are as much a liberal Democrat as anything. Republican Primary voters, they go to church BTW; aren’t interested in voting for pro-dope candidates. They don’t want less prison sentences or candidates that vote against harsh dog fighting laws. They want people who support pro-economic development, not vote against it. They want pro law enforcement legislation, not someone who hates cops. The crazy part is, y’all voice your opinion and tell the world how crazy your candidate is, when you should be keeping your mouth shut if you want them to win. Dr. Phil makes 90 million a year off people like you, “do you want to be right, or do you want to be happy.” You Liberal-Tarians would rather be right than win. Y’all just don’t get you are crazy, weirdos who were losers in school and now you are grown up losers.

Anonymous said...

In my 60 or so years, I've tried pot several times and I inhaled every time. From what people tell me, it can be a pleasant, relaxing thing, but I'm among those that don't have that experience. All I do is cough, spit and get very sleepy. I wasn't in pain so I don't know if it would alleviate pain for me and I hope I never need to find out. It would be of no direct benefit to me personally if the best pot available were available in packs like cigarettes and at similar prices.

That said, I don't care of Bomgar burns bales of it in his fireplace and out-smokes a reggae festival hosted by Cheech, Chong and Snoop Dogg every day of his life. I will say that if he does smoke it, it is evidence that it doesn't prevent the smoker from being productive. If Bomgar is writing his own checks to cover what he says, it is plainly better than the innumerable Mississippi pols whose mouths write checks that MY ass (and many of your asses) must cover.

I do care that untold billions of dollars have been spent - no, completely pissed away - on "the war on drugs," which like all such wars, real or figurative, are lost before they are declared. No sane person thinks children should be allowed to smoke pot, snort coke or use, much less abuse, any drug, but to lump pot into the same category as heroin or meth isn't sane, either.

Pot has been tacitly or actually legal in enough places, and for enough time, that it is abundantly plain and clear that while there are anecdotal issues, the negative impact of it being legal is essentially non-existent when compared to the cost in both money and societal detriment of its illegality.

On top of that, there is enough reasonable medical evidence that in limited situations, pot is a viable medication. No, I don't think it is the wonder drug that some proponents suggest, but as stated above, I think if people want to smoke it simply because they enjoy it, that ought to be legal, so for me, the whole "are the medical uses legitimate?" doesn't matter. Hell, even if it all is merely a placebo effect, if someone suffering suffers less, what kind of twisted mentality begrudges that?

And lastly, it isn't fair to blame or criticize law enforcement, especially rank-and-file law enforcement, for enforcing the law. They didn't draft it or vote it into existence, but they are duty-bound to enforce it as presented to them.

It seems that lots of heels have been dug in firmly and like so much else, common sense and practical realities are ignored. That is sad and sadder still is that everyday folks don't speak up and put an end to the bullshit. You don't have to approve of its usage, but common sense and practical reality strongly urge that you should support its legality.

Anonymous said...

@12:07 your crazy rant just proved 11:49 point. There is no medical evidence that smoking dope helps anyone medically. You watch to much fake news. Just because a state says it’s legal, under the guise of, “wink-wink” medicinal purposes, doesn’t mean anything. No one in Denver, Washington, Nevada, Oregon or any of the other nut job states can go to a pharmacy and get there wink-wink medicine. They go to a head shop. Pot is still a schedule 1 psychotic. Snake oils salesmen. Let’s bring back bloodletting, heroin, Cocain, lobatomy. Common sense? Common sense says you should be in California, or Whitfield.

Anonymous said...

12:07 nailed it.

And I too know Joel Bomgar. Fine man. A bit odd. I cannot fathom that he ever touched pot.

Anonymous said...

Same people running down Joel Bomgar were on here 4 years ago. Same group of establishment types, most of whom draw their paycheck from the government (like the Ridgeland Mayor).

Have your fun and stay up all night making posts denigrating Mr. Bomgar. But the results will be the same. 68% to 32% is what we call a rout in politics. It may be worse this time. You can see it in Bruce's face. The "why am I doing this again" look.

Anonymous said...

Bomgar may have admirable traits. But he's a bully, suffocatingly arrogant and has no interest to put in the work it takes to achieve consensus. He's always right, everyone else is always wrong. Y'all fault Tate Reeves for the same.

Anonymous said...

@8.23 please name some people endorsing Joel,this time around, in Madison County. One or two will be enough, besides crazy Bill Billingsly. Maybe you can throw me a bone and name one elected official in the county. The only thing I see in Bartley’s face is I GOT THE GOVERNOR AND EVERYONE ELESES ENDORSEMENT. Joel’s con game is over. It’s over at the Capital and it’s over in Madison County.

Anonymous said...

Hey 1:00 a.m., I have all the medical evidence that I need. My wife smoked pot while undergoing chemo. It helped. A lot.

Anonymous said...

EXTREMELY DISAPPOINTING that Joel Bomgar voted against the $4000 teacher pay increase this past Monday. District 58 public school supporters deserve better.

Anonymous said...

9:06, you seem to have a problem with Billingsley, whose name you apparently don't know how to spell. What did he ever do to you?

Anonymous said...

It’s almost as if JJ doesn’t realize Jim Richards’ case was reversed by the Circuit Court. But why do facts matter when you hate a state agency that must have pissed in your Cheerios at some point.

Kingfish said...

Hate them? Nope. However, they blatantly lied on a public records request. They are still lying as they have never publicly admitted to owning NHTSA over $7 million in grant repayments.

As for the Richards case, I had not checked the docket in several weeks and was unaware it had been decided. It will be covered in the next few days. MEC is undergoing system maintenance tonight so the file can't be accessed.

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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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