Friday, May 29, 2020

Update on DHS Moving Story

It seems a little bit of a correction is in order for the DHS Story posted on Tuesday.  JJ reported the Mississippi Department of Human Services paid rent for the old Sheraton Hotel even though it no longer uses it. 
A DHS representative told JJ Tuesday that it was no longer using the building even though it is paying monthly rent of $172,896.  JJ dutifully reported the information in the story.  The DHS representative apologized the next day and said his previous statement was in error.  He stated in an email:

We do have employees over at 750 in our property and receiving section of admin services. The statement that there are no DHS functions or employees assigned to the North State Street building is inaccurate.

The lease on 200 S. Lamar it was originally on a one year emergency lease, but an RFP was issued and ran its full course with City Centre being selected as the awardee.  We started the actual lease from that RFP July 1, 2019 so we are about to finish the first year of that lease.

We have an MOU with CPS and recently executed a sublease with Mississippi Community College Board who has personnel in 750 as well. 

As you pointed out to one of your anonymous commenters, CPS is no longer part of MDHS.

JJ reported in the same story:

DHS signed an emergency no-bid contract with Hertz to lease the old Skytel buildings on 200 S. Lamar Street in June 2018.  DHS agreed to pay $15 per square foot.  The lease is $170,288 per month ( more than $2.0 million per year.).  Hertz is responsible for all utilities except for telecommunications services.  The lease has a term of one year but has been renewed.

The agency called the old Sheraton Hotel on 750 North State Street home for many years.  DHS paid a monthly lease of $162,087 to Madated, LLC until December 2017 when the rent jumped to $172,849.  DHS still pays rent for the building.  Madated and DHS executed the lease in 2007 and amended it in 2014. DHS agreed to pay $1.945 million per year until 2018, when it jumped to $2.1 million where it will remain until 2024.  The lease expires at the end of 2027.  DFA's website states the contract amount is $47 million.

The correction does not change the fact that DHS spent millions on a new lease in an emergency no-bid contract (along with moving expenses) on some fancy new digs while retaining the lease on the old building.  Earlier post with list of payments to both landlords.

DHS notified Madated in the spring of 2018 it was going to terminate the lease.  Madated sued to enforce the lease in Hinds County Chancery Court.  DHS claimed the building was falling into a state of disrepair, violating the lease.  The landlord said it was renovating the premises while obtaining refinancing from Trustmark.  It also claimed it would not be able to rent out the property if DHS moved.  DHS and Madated suddenly dropped their court fight three weeks after the lawsuit was filed.

Kingfish note: Here is a question: Did the employees move to Lamar and move back to North State Street or did they never leave? Just wondering.




19 comments:

Green Jeans said...

Good on you Kingfish. Nice to see someone with integrity.

Anonymous said...

Child Protective Services (CPS) may technically no longer be 'part of DPS'; however, it cannot be denied that both are inextricably connected at joined hips in every imaginable way. Right down to the telephone system and shared electronic files.

Anonymous said...

DHS claimed the building was falling into a state of disrepair, violating the lease.

Let's see some documentation to show that the tenant properly notified the landlord of the alleged deficiencies. These allegations sound pretty bad, usually there will be some expert inspection and documentation with pictures when you are talking about a large dollar government contract. Such deficiency notification typically would be expected to be done in writing and in a timely fashion. That will be possibly be the case here?

The landlord said it was renovating the premises while obtaining refinancing from Trustmark.

Let's see some building permits? Possibly the alleged renovation work was inspected and there are inspection records and documentation? Also one would expect some documentation between tenant and landlord for disruptive but allegedly necessary repairs or renovations to an occupied structure. Perhaps there would be evidence of some legal consultation on the tenant side, even if the actual work product might not be provided to the asker.

It also claimed it would not be able to rent out the property if DHS moved.

Typically this would be this claim would be made by the landlord to the tenant in writing. Let's see it.

DHS and Madated suddenly dropped their court fight three weeks after the lawsuit was filed.

If one were to construct a timeline, was this alleged settlement reached before or after the completion of the allegedly necessary alleged renovations?

Anonymous said...

$leezy bureaucratic shell game to protect the guilty. Is their spokesman "Baghdad Bob?"

Anonymous said...

8:55 - Where do you live? Are you familiar with Mississippi?

Anonymous said...

@8:39, Are you kidding? Integrity would be Kingfish driving to the addresses in question and actually checking before he runs a story. This is just CYA.

Anonymous said...

If the building was in such terrible shape, and not 'occupiable' by DHS, why then is it an OK facility for 'some' of their employees, for CPS employees, and for the Community College employees?

Seems to me that this "emergency" action taken by the previous administration was nothing but a way to get around the bid requirements, and the claims made in an attempt to get out of a long-term contract was pure bullcrap.

But - considering how the last administration ran the programs at DHS, none of the above should be surprising.

What is (or could be) surprising to those that think our new State Auditor is doing a great job capturing fraud and waste - here's a question for you: Why didn't this wasteful expenditure, this 'emergency' declaration, and all the actions taken by DHS in this fiasco come out in their audit? Maybe because it (like much of the MCEC issue) could possible lead a few blocks south to a High Street office? Wondering minds want to know.

Anonymous said...

When the MDHS employees left 750 N. State Street to move to 200 S. Lamar, there was a one-year emergency lease which DFA approved for MDHS. Seems like John Davis worked some kind of magic over DFA to get approval to leave 750 N. State Street. Whether there was a real emergency remains debatable, since the repairs needed at 750 N. State Street didn't take a really long time. MDHS employees probably could have moved back to 750 N. State Street after the repairs were completed, but they did not. Rather, DFA then approved a 20-year lease for MDHS to stay at 200 S. Lamar through 2039 and CPS employees moved into the old Sheraton at 750 N. State Street, which currently has a lease (as you have reported) that runs through 2031. Under the MOU referenced in your post, MDHS still pays the rent at 750 N. State Street for the benefit of CPS, which occupies most of the building except for some space leased to the Mississippi Community College Board.

Anonymous said...

Fake News

Can not wait for litigation to start against these phony manipulative sites.

Tick tock

Anonymous said...

I’m sure the local media (tv,radio,newspaper) will start asking questions any second now. Ha! Imagine how much these crooks would get away with if we didn’t have kingfish

Anonymous said...

Nancy New and her outfit whether it was Families First or MCEC were occupying the first floor once MDHS moved their people out. Had a fancy setup with little to no visitors.

Anonymous said...

I'm a lifelong resident of Jackson and need to make a correction to the stories. The building in reference opened as the Jackson Hilton back in the 70s. I know this because my high school prom (Callaway) was held there.

Kingfish said...

There is no correction. It became a Sheraton and closed as a Sheraton.

Anonymous said...

In 2017, CPS went out with an RFP (due 2/23/17) for rental space of 30,000 sq ft and they were under a court order to separate themselves from DPS. The original low bidder was not liked by CPS because it was said that they were looking to move outside of Jackson and the low bidder was inside of Jackson, so CPS issued another RFP calling it a BEST AND FINAL RFP and bids due 3/17/17 (giving the Ridgeland space and the Madison space another chance), final selection to be 3/24/17, Lease presented for PPRB approval on 4/5/17, but guess what? The same low bidder was the low bidder again ($11.90 per square ft and other proposals were twice that price), so CPS decides they will go a different way. They didn't want to stay in Jackson and although they could have saved hundreds of thousands of dollars for the hardworking taxpayers of MS that has Jackson as it's capital city, they were going to unethically find a way to get to Madison or Ridgeland. Yes, David Chandler was over CPS and then Jess Dickinson and both appointed by Phil Bryant. The investigation into the corrupt practices of state government needs to broaden to CPS and what was going on there. Wasteful spending and corrupt practices!!!!!! Someone needs to get to the bottom of this!

Anonymous said...

Dude... can you read?

750 isn't the number of staff there. It's the building address.

Kingfish. Stop trying to conspiracy theory your way into being somehow right.

Anonymous said...

Anyone mention Deppity Pheel yet?

If not then somethangs wrong!

Anonymous said...

12;04pm mentioned the good gub Phil. Has anyone added up the number of scandals and corruption involved in his administration? That guy held no one accountable for anything!!!!!! Did he ever even meet with his state agency heads? What a joke!!!!!!

Anonymous said...


" I'm a lifelong resident of Jackson and need to make a correction to the stories. The building in reference opened as the Jackson Hilton back in the 70s. I know this because my high school prom (Callaway) was held there".


"There is no correction. It became a Sheraton and closed as a Sheraton."

I'm pretty sure it was never a Hilton. But I may be wrong too.

And I'm a lifelong Jacksonian myself.
But I understand the confusion, I knew many kids at Callaway from the mid 70's through the early 80's.

(Ya'll did have the best dime bags north of McDowell Road).

So everything is probably blurry for all of us back then.

LOL.

Manhattan Academy had the best ludes, and Jackson Prep always had the best coke.

Anonymous said...

9:39 - I am not a lifelong resident of Jackson, but am a lifelong resident of the state and in those old decades had plenty of opportunities to visit our great Capitol City.

Yes, this building (the 750 N State, not a building with 750 employees - but that's another issue) was originally a Hilton - built in the early 70's (1972 or 73) and was new competition for the Heidelberg, Robert E Lee and the King Edward.

In the mid-80's, the Hilton franchise expired and it was converted to a Sheraton, which it remained until it closed in the early 90's.

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