Thursday, May 26, 2011

Brown: Stowers & Hargrove stole from company, Hinds attorney wanted suit to take care of "retirement"

Hinds County sued Motorola in February 2009 seeking recovery of alleged damages caused by Motorola giving Madison and Ridgeland access to the county radio system. Local attorney Precious Martin filed suit for Hinds. The parties settled the case under undisclosed terms in April. Hinds allegedly became aware of the "problem" after then- Brown Communications employees Nathan Hargrove and Stacy Stowes audited the Hinds County radio system in May 2008 authorized under a motion made by Supervisor Robert Graham.

Several filings made in the case this year allege some rather interesting activities by Hargrove, Stowers, and Martin. Motorola filed a motion to disqualify Mr. Martin on February 15, 2011. The motion claims Mr. Stowers obtained a four million dollar contract for Airwave LLC with Hinds County in December 2008 (JJ reported this earlier and discovered Airwave did not actually exist until January 28, 2009.). The motion states Mr. Stowers had no personnel capable of actually doing the work so he "relied on Brown's Communications and its Shop Manager, Nathan Hargrove" to perform all of the actual work (This is starting to sound like Rudy.). Problem is, the owner of Brown's had told Mr. Hargrove not to even communicate with Mr. Stowers as he was no longer a Brown's employee.

Tim Brown, the owner of Brown's, claimed in a deposition Mr. Hargrove lied to him about his contacts with Mr. Stowers and that he allowed the former employee to "misappropriate" his company's "employees and equipment for the purpose of servicing Hinds County's system." Mr. Brown alleged the pair cost him $20,000 in income while they performed work for Hinds County without his consent.

A confrontation ensued at the office when Mr. Brown refused to let the former employees retrieve their personal property and the police were called. Attorney Precious Martin (husband of Hinds County Board of Supervisors attorney Crystal Martin) "arrived at the scene in his vehicle" and "thereafter met with Tim Brown at a nearby Waffle House Restaurant."

Here is where it gets real interesting:

"Mr Martin told Brown that Martin knew that Stowers/Hargrove had been stealing from Brown's business by using Brown's employees and equipment to work on the County's system. However, Martin told Brown that if Brown would let go of this dispute with Stowers/Hargrove, martin would make sure that Brown got paid."

Brown stated in his deposition: "Me, Precious Martin, Frank Dixon (Brown employee), Constable Brown set as the Waffle House and he promised me that he knew that these boys took me for all my money and he was going to help me get my money back."

Q: Who promised you that?
A: Precious Martin......

And he told me the relationship between Constable Brown and Precious Martin. And he says, listen, I'm going to tell these boys, loo, go ahead and give this boy his money. Because he says, Tim, listen, I can make some money off of this deal with the suit case with Motorola. And these boys can help me out alot but I'm going to promise you i'll get your money.

Mr. Brown then gives further details on the relationship between Stowers and Hargrove:

"he knew about the system being bamboozled by the county automatically giving Airwave the contract even before he have a business license and he had no technicians. And everyone knew in Hinds County what happened, because they knew me and Stacey were real close and working together.

And all of a sudden now, Stacey took my office manager and they went in business. And he knew about all the guys going out, doing all the work-- Nathan had the guys do all the work that when Stacey had the contract, and they were just stealing from me by having my guys go out and do the work for Stacey Stowers and Stacey getting paid for it. And I never knew about it

Then Mr. Brown focuses more on Mr. Martin's knowledge of the whole ordeal:
"He explained that Nathan Hargrove was really working for Stacey and using all my guys to go out and perform all of Stacey Stowers' work on Hinds County.

Q: He acknowledged that to you--
A: Yes, he did. He knew everything that was going on.
Q: And he indicated to you he thought that was wrong?
A: Yeah.

Mr. Brown then says on page 221 of the deposition (see below)

"Look, black people don't need to be fighting. Okay? You guys need to work together. Listen, this is bigger, bigger than y'all. You know, this is, basically I can go ahead and make my retirement off this Motorola lawsuit. You guys need to work together."

Q: He said that?
A: Yes, he did.
Q: He could make his retirement off--
A: He could make his retirement. Yes, he did. Yes, he did. He said listen, y'all, you know, black folks has a routine of all fighting together. You guys need to cut this out and work together....."

A: And he told me again. He says listen, black folks need to stop. You guys need to stop this. This is messing up this big lawsuit. This is bigger than you guys, Okay?
Q: That this is messing up this big lawsuit?
A: Yes, it is. Yes, it is. Yes, it is. Because I think basically they were trying to use me and Nathan and Stacey altogether as one as Brown's Communications for this lawsuit.

Hinds County's response to the motion to disqualify denies such a meeting took place. Hinds County filed several motions in limine (posted below) to preclude any evidence or testimony about Brown firing Stowers, a Waffle House meeting, allegations the two former employees stole from Brown, evidence of the relationship between Brown and the two employees after the audit, and any evidence about the radio controversy with Byram.

Good reading. Pour a drink first:

Jackson Jambalaya mentioned in suit:


Anonymous said...

Good grief.

Is ANYONE who is in the position to file charges against these theives paying attention?

Anonymous said...

This is explosive testimony.

Anonymous said...

Un. Freakin. Believable. If this case isn't sealed, then why in the hell hasn't anybody else covered it? The CL is a damn embarrassment, but then again, we get what we deserve. The same idiots are in office year after year.

Anonymous said...

Incredible job, KF. Incredible. Now, can we get Marsha pissed off enough to actually cover the story? She use to be a bulldog when she did investigating. Any way you can show her EVERYTHING on this case and get her started?

Rediculous that I even have to say--can you get a reporter interested. Rediculous. WLBT should be all over this.

Thanks again, KF.

Anonymous said...

Hinds County is completely corrupt.

Anonymous said...

If it smells like shit its gonna be shit so dont step in it

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, we are done as a society. We had a good run ladies and gentlemen.

Anonymous said...

About time the FEDS stepped in and took over this investigation take the Mississippi politics out of play here get some questions answered by Stacey and his bag man Nathan. A one man operation getting 4.6 million dollars of tax payers money and subcontracting to his friend and his 3 man team to service a 20 million dollar radio system for Hinds County. Has anyone thought about how much hell the City of Clinton caught trying to by radios about a year ago. I do believe Robert tryed to force Northstar on those guys.Hmmmmm i smell a rat or maybe 2

Burke said...

NSFW: Kingfish, go for the balls and don't look up.

Anonymous said...

RICO - Conspiracy - to Funds Laundering Across State Lines - where are the FEDS?

Anonymous said...

Has anyone considered that Motorola has brought alot of this on to cover there issues. Sued by hinds county, being investigated by MS wireless commission for fraud, being thrown out of various counties and cities because of ethics, and have milked MS tax payees for more than $300 million! Someone needs to take a serious look at this.

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