Monday, March 16, 2015

And..... the story changes again.

It looks like our esteemed District Attorney is changing his story again.  You may remember that he told the Hinds County Board of Supervisors two weeks ago that he needed more money because the Sheriff was not giving him his forfeiture money.  Well, that story changed as the Clarion-Ledger reported:

At a Feb. 17 supervisors meeting, Smith asked for an additional $10,000 a month from the county. He first asked for the extra money for 12 months, but he ended up agreeing to request seven months. In that meeting, he said the reason he needed the money was that he hadn't received the expected amount in seizure funds from the Sheriff's Department. On Thursday, though, Smith corrected the record and said that money was not figured into his budget. Rather, he said, the expenses eating up his funding have to do with the worthless check unit.

"The check unit is where we experience a downturn, and so that happens and has happened over the years — and we anticipated that — so in anticipation of the shortfall, we asked for additional money ahead of time," he said.

District 4 Supervisor Tony Greer had called Smith out, saying he was acting inconsistently with state law if he planned on forfeiture funds to fill the gaps in his budget. Smith said that's not what he did.

"We know that the forfeiture funds will be different, and we can't anticipate what that amount will be so we don't figure that into our budget when we make our budget request," Smith said. "If you go back and look at our original request, we looked at money that we needed based on financial analysis in our office." Rest of article.

The problem is that is not what he told the supervisors. Here is the video. He starts his presentation out by blaming the Sheriff's office for a lack of forfeiture money.  Bases his whole argument on that little assertion.

Several Supervisors told the D.A. to bring his budget when he earlier met with them on an individual basis.  They meant bring the ledger and show line by line where he was spending his money.  He did not do that at this meeting as requested and its quite clear in the video that he was rather clueless about his budget.

The forfeiture money in question has to be requested.  Mr. Smith had not formally requested any forfeiture money from the court when he made that accusation against the Sheriff.  Mississippi Code Section 41-29-181 provides the procedures for disposing of seized funds:

 (2) All other property, real or personal, which is forfeited under this article, except as otherwise provided in Section 41-29-185, and except as provided in subsections (3), (7) and (8) of this section, shall be liquidated and, after deduction of court costs and the expenses of liquidation, the proceeds shall be divided and deposited as follows:

   (a) In the event only one (1) law enforcement agency participates in the underlying criminal case out of which the forfeiture arises, twenty percent (20%) of the proceeds shall be forwarded to the State Treasurer and deposited in the General Fund of the state and eighty percent (80%) of the proceeds shall be deposited and credited to the budget of the participating law enforcement agency.

   (b) In the event more than one (1) law enforcement agency participates in the underlying criminal case out of which the forfeiture arises, eighty percent (80%) of the proceeds shall be deposited and credited to the budget of the law enforcement agency whose officers initiated the criminal case and twenty percent (20%) shall be divided equitably between or among the other participating law enforcement agencies, and shall be deposited and credited to the budgets of the participating law enforcement agencies. In the event that the other participating law enforcement agencies cannot agree on the division of their twenty percent (20%), a petition shall be filed by any one of them in the court in which the civil forfeiture case is brought and the court shall make an equitable division....

 (3) All money which is forfeited under this article, except as otherwise provided by Section 41-29-185, shall be divided, deposited and credited in the same manner as set forth in subsection (2) of this section.
The Sheriff can't keep the money due the District Attorney.  However, the D.A. can't get it if he never asked for it as well.  The story also does not mention that Judge Tomie Green is sitting on nearly half a million dollars in forfeiture  money and has been doing so for quite some time (You don't think the battle of the bailiffs has anything to do with it, do you? Nah.).  The law requires the D.A. to ask the court for his share of the money. 

It will be interesting to see what song the D.A. sings for the Board of Supervisors today at the regular meeting as the discussion of his budget is on the agenda.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I moved to Jackson years ago from New Orleans,following'love.' I grew up in Vicksburg and from earliest memories I didn't want to live in Jackson. I should have paid more attention to those feelings. The love is long gone.

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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.

Note: Security provided by INS.

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