Thursday, September 5, 2019

Will JMAA Keep Former CEO's Testimony Secret?

The Jackson Municipal Airport Authority Board of Commissioners wants to turn former CEO Carl Newman into the Man in the Iron Mask.  JMAA sued to stop the state's "takeover" of the airport in U.S. District Court. Mr. Newman suddenly resigned in March after the Commissioners voted to hire a consultant to review his performance.  The Board did so immediately after he refused to fire the Director of Human Resources. 

JMAA submitted a memorandum supporting a motion to seal Mr. Newman's testimony on July 16.  The defense has not filed a response.  The case is assigned to Judge Carlton Reeves.  The memorandum states:

Looking first to Mr. Newman’s deposition testimony related to communications and discussions during executive sessions of the JMAA Board, that testimony is privileged from disclosure. “[T]he attorney-client privilege protects communications made during the executive sessions.”
Keep in mind the info JMAA wants to seal is already known to the opposing parties as it was obtained during a deposition.  JMAA continues:

 Looking next to Mr. Newman’s testimony regarding his departure from JMAA, this testimony has no relevance or probative value to the parties’ claims and defenses in this case and its availability to the public would do nothing more than unfairly prejudice JMAA and confuse the issues before the Court. As a result, JMAA requests that it be sealed.
Thus JMAA wants to keep secret the reasons for Mr. Newman's abrupt departure as CEO.  The state already knows what is in the deposition.  JMAA apparently doesn't want the public to hear Mr. Newman's side of the story.  Why would that be?


Anonymous said...

It's funny how these cases always go in front of Reaves and not Jordan or even Wingate. #judgeshopmuch?

Anonymous said...

I travel all the time, I've been to many airports across the globe. I have to say that JAN is the easiest and most convenient airport, plus they have a Starbucks and the only known homage to Andy Anderson and the Dawn Breakers (also known as the original Rolling Stones).

Have you ever been to O'Hare at Christmas or Thanksgiving? Heathrow in the throws of tourist summer season? LaGuardia or Kennedy on Labor Day weekend? You will spend far less time waiting in line for TSA and searching for your gate at JAN.

Go, Jackson!! Don't let the Taters bring you down!!!

Anonymous said...

I don't think he has anything to hide if not.

Anonymous said...

What’s he have to say?

Anonymous said...

well 2:29, you may be right....but other airports have more than one carrier operating out of them.

A "Starbucks", wow!! The airports I've been in has full service restaurants, book stores and whole host of other snack venues to choose from.

No lines in TSA, well just shows you no one is using Jackson coming or going.

But, all the other airports I've been in has working bathrooms, not porta-potties!

Your points are invalid and proves low class service is provided by the city of Jackson in all aspects of it's government failure.

Bold New City.....huh, should be See Jackson and Possibly Die.

Anonymous said...

@2:29, when was the lat time you had to use a porta pottie at Heathrow, O'Hare, LaGuardia or Kennedy? And if Starbucks gets your rocks off, I feel very sorry for you.

Anonymous said...

2:29, I agree completely, fly to other airports around the country and you will bless your lucky stars for JAN. I currently have been to at least 25 other airports in this country, big and mid size. Don’t think the grass is greener somewhere else. I just wish Southwest had not left but that decision was made somewhere else, not with the airport board.

Anonymous said...

KF, keep in mind that a former employee cannot waive either attorney-client or executive session (in the case of a political subdivision) privilege. So depo testimony may still be subject to a privilege claim even though the adverse party/counsel hear/observe/witness it.

Anonymous said...

This is not the way normal business is conducted by a normal board. What s bunch of boneheads.

Anonymous said...

The airport now has hired 5 new staff members including Pat Minor one of Benny Thompson's do boys..

Anonymous said...

Can someone please explain what Mr. Newman’s side of the story is. I’m not familiar with the details of this issue so please catch me up to speed.

Kingfish said...

I acknowledged that part of the argument. However, Mr. Newman didn't quit in executive session nor is his resignation covered by the privilege.

Anonymous said...

If his testimony regards his departure from employment, how is it relevant to the issues involved in the lawsuit?

Anonymous said...

Is it that hard to understand that his forced resignation may have directly resulted from issues central to the lawsuit?

Anonymous said...

Am I over-reacting, or was there an insinuation in the opening post that his resignation was precipitated by a consultant being hired to review his work? That seems (to me) to suggest he left hurriedly because of someone reviewing his work, which I'm all but absolutely certain was NOT the case.

I believe what we have here is the blog admin providing dots that do not under any circumstance connect.

Anonymous said...

Some of y'all don't fly often much.
1) The Starbucks and musical tributes closed 3 years ago, but the new coffee shop on the Delta/Frontier side is much better, snack and beverage wise.
2) JAN has 4 carriers.
3) The port-a-potties were because the bathrooms were being renovated, you dunces. The place is making improvements, so of course y'all complain.
4) The security lines can be long, but not long compared to ATL/DFW/DCA, etc. Get pre-Check and sail through.
5) I don't know of any other airport where I can arrive 30 minutes prior to departure and still check bag and reach the gate with time to spare. Again, get pre-Check.
6) The Frontier flights to Orlando and Denver are excellent.
7) The airport could distribute diamonds to every passenger and JJ commenters would still hate it. That's what y'all do.

Anonymous said...

For the all the hoopla surrounding the Jackson, MS airport allow me to express my point of view. The State of Mississippi is one of those craphole places that the President often speaks of. NO ONE gives a crap about Mississippi and hence the Jackson, MS airport sucks. Jackson is not a destination for anyone. Let's get real. Southwest shifted its focus to larger cities. Check out their 10-K.

The only reason the State wants the airport is the balance sheet. Honestly, Tater, Gunter, and Phil Billy wrecked the State of Mississippi financially, caused the state to have its credit rating lowered because of bad accounting and loans to defunct companies and now the State is in the same boat as the City of Jackson financially. Let's keep the dialogue honest. It takes money (taxes) to pay for government services.

If the airport didn't have money in the bank it would not be desirable.

Mr. Kingfish, please find the financial reports of JMAA and post them on line. And while you're at it, do the same for the Great(Not so Great)State of Mississippi.

It's shameful that the people of this state doesn't have a clue!!!!

Kingfish said...

Oh really? You conveniently left out the ratings agencies making note of PERS when they lowered the ratings.

Anonymous said...

@ 9:05...Huh?

Anonymous said...

I fly regularly. Nothing wrong with our airport. Most flyers get frustrated with lines at security, but that is TSA, not Jackson's airport board. If it takes too long at ticketing, that's the airline, not Jackson's airport board.

If your ticket to Disneyland is expensive, that's lack of competition, which is mainly driven by living in a low-demand shithole state and metro area. If the airport magically moved to Madison the City, new airlines would not rush in with new routes. Nobody really needs to come here for anything.

Now, all that said, the Jackson airport board has done itself no favors since this lawsuit was filed. They have acted like complete idiots by running off a very very good CEO and also the whole Paris trip. They deserve to lose it based on the stupidity displayed DURING this lawsuit.

But I have no problem flying out of JAN regularly.

Anonymous said...

8:51: "the people of this state doesn't have a clue!!!!!" Right, just keep on looking down your nose at Mississippi, from wherever it is you perch. You're obviously too smart and educated for us.

Lumbergh said...

Not going to lie, it's hard to watch Jackson sinking from afar while the passengers argue about arranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

I'd love to hear more about the financial pot of gold possessed by the airport that others are referencing in these comments, but, if I had to guess, as the airport revenue dwindled into irrelevance, the need for sound management has dwindled with it.

The carriers didn't abandon Jackson because of the horrible management. They abandoned Jackson because there aren't enough business travelers to support their business.

Everything else is some variation of ad hominem fallacy

Anonymous said...

Let's keep the dialogue honest.

Yes, let's do so because your 'telling' of how we got here is woefully lacking and, frankly, ignorant as to the facts.

Anonymous said...

the Jackson airport like most small markets has suffered from carriers merging changing routes eliminating flights and increasing fares.
Look what happened to Memphis. I’m still pissed at the Paris boondoggle and think the board sucks. We need a board and a manager that cam make the most out of our place in the market

Anonymous said...

Southwest airlines didn't abandon Jackson due to lack of management or fees at the airport. They left many mid size cities.

Anonymous said...

Attn 8:01 How about informing use of the numerous other cities southwest airlines abandoned?

Anonymous said...

I'm confused KF. If the former CEO's testimony is in deposition thats publicly available (which it should be unless the judge ordered it withheld for some strange reason) then it is already already out there.

Or is therr more that is not in the deposition?

Anonymous said...

Do you porta poddy harpies not understand the bathrooms were being remodeled?

The remaining harpies aren't comparing JMMA with similar size airports . If you did, JMAA compares favorably even to some in larger population areas.

I'm a frequent traveler too and aside from the ridiculous price I have to pay to get to a hub ( greed in the airlines is not something JMAA can control), I too find Jackson a pleasant oasis in cattle car air travel.

All those big airports with all the chain restaurants with poor service and mediocre food are not impressive compared to the efficiency, good service and attitudes of the employees at JMAA and the ease in getting to and from my destinations...including how fast the luggage comes.

I'm constantly amazed at how many of you don't realize how limited your knowledge based on experiences really are and that makes your comments worthless.

Anonymous said...

GSP Greenville, S.C.

Anonymous said...

I have heard through the grapevine that the board was controlling everything and not letting Carl run the airport or make hiring/firing decisions. The new CEO that they will bring in will just be a puppet answering to Henley.

Anonymous said...

Hey JMAA, still waiting to see a detailed expense report on the Paris junket. Please include detailed lists of expenses incurred for family members and other hangers on showing which expenses were paid by the tax payers and which expenses were paid out of personal funds.


Anonymous said...

SouthWest is the worst carrier in my opinion. They operate as a bargain choice, but charge you premium prices. They had a boom in success when fuel prices started rising and their agreement to freeze oil price arrangements paid off. However, that ended around the mid-2000's and had to negotiate a new fuel arrangement. Expect to see less offerings for a higher price from them in the years to come.

Anonymous said...

A Tale of Two Cities: The Jackson-MWE Airport and the Jackson Public Schools. Both ripe for state takeover, Right? What's the big difference?

Are such decisions patronizing or predatory? What's the motivation?

Anonymous said...

To 8:28 a.m., documents that are filed in federal court are presumed to be open to the public. Deposition transcripts aren't automatically filed. They usually only get filed when they are attached as exhibits to a motion or are used as exhibits at trial. That's my understanding, FYI.

Anonymous said...

Is JAN a good airport compared to others of its size? Hell no. Probably the best comparison is Columbia, SC. Almost exactly the same demographics for populations and flights. What is the comparison? CAE (Columbia) has a beautiful airport. It has excellent shops, parking, baggage claim, car rentals. Quick TSA like Jackson but it doesn't look like a tomb. It's parking structure's elevators work (JANs often don't). You can reliably park and pay when you leave and you don't face a long ling as you occasionally do at JAN. The toilets work and don't include portapotties that are in place for more than 6 months on each side of the airport. There are some other interesting differences: When you are at JAN, in the lobby, they have a shrine to the Board members with three-foot rotating photos. Why the hell? What is that for? And when you are in baggage claim, JAN treats you to a scrolling six year old's adverts. That is a nice touch.

Anonymous said...

Nice airports are economic output. Until the suburbs of Jackson stop using the city as something from which to harvest people and business, this area and the state will never see the economic growth of other similar-sized cities. Eventually, Jackson will run out of organs and your precious cookie-cutter neighborhoods will have to stop building cheap homes.

Anonymous said...

8:29, just keep making excuses....

Been in airports all over the world and come across plenty of renovations of terminals and restrooms, BUT have never seen porta-potties being used during the renovations.

You can try to blame JJ readers/commenters all you want, but everything the Jackson city government has touched in the last 35 years they've been in complete control has turned to sh*t. All you excuse makers should run for city council / mayors office. You've gotten excuse making down to a fine art, just like every Dim-O-Krat run city / county government. Whatever goes down in Jackson has never been my fault or will ever be.l

For one, it doesn't matter what happens to anything that has Jackson's name on it, I don't spend money for anything there. I drive to New Orleans to fly out ( Cheaper) and go a day early or stay day later to eat at a good dining venue and shop at stores not found in metro area.

So suck it up buttercup, Jackson will never become the Bold New City because of the mindset of people like you, Kennuf Stokes and Choke Lobotomy!!!!

Anonymous said...

8:10....regarding abandoned routes, Jackson was cut when they also cut Branson and Key West.
But then there's plenty of other route cuts.....

Note that this objective writer called us a "small city". In other words, nobody flies here.

Mbrookes said...

I don't fly a lot since I prefer riding the trains, but I have noticed one good thing about Jackson Airport. This is the only one I have been to thet always has fresh flowers in the ladies' room. That's a little thing, but a very nice touch.

Anonymous said...

You could have built a house for the time it took to renovate the bathrooms. The porta potties were there for almost 10 months.


Plus A Mini-Civil Rights Museum said...

Fresh flowers in the ladies room. That goes straight to the top of the 'pig lipstick' column. Thank you.

The Unsilent Majority said...

@4:51 and 8:01, Southwest left because Frank Melton got in a pissing contest with one of their executives and raised their runway utilization fees. There were standby lines almost every flight right up to leaving. Having an airport board of idiots that know nothing about running an airport other than how to cash a check is a recipe to make exactly what we have, a crummy airport with very few direct flight choices.

Anonymous said...

8:52 am Sept 6th look at per capita income and population of the area Greenville, SC serves. The metro area is over 800,000 and even their tourist bureau touts that it costs $811 per day to visit. Look at their tax base. You really had to reach for that one. PS. I have family there...want me to go into how much the community ponied up and supported that airport? Not that many naysayers around Greenville as they realize bragging about their home makes their home desirable to others who then bring more money to their home.

2:28 pm Just how many renovations of older commercial bathrooms have you been involved with doing? My guess is zero or you'd know that in construction remodels, the unexpected happens. Order errors are made by manufacturers, hidden problems are uncovered and have to be corrected, designs have unanticipated flaws... I could go on. There are people who make a living out of arbitrating and legally resolving who pays for the cost that can be accrued by construction delays.

If you speak or write without thinking or knowledge of the realities of any situation, you look like someone who makes snap judgements in ignorance. That doesn't get you respect. Most won't call you on it, they'll just decide not to let you be in charge of anything.

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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.

Note: Security provided by INS