Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Mayor Mary Wins Mayfield Lawsuit (Updated)

U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves threw out the Mark Mayfield estate's lawsuit against the city of Madison and Mayor Mary Hawkins-Butler. The dismissal closes the final chapter on the 2014 U.S. Senate race in Mississippi.

Mark Mayfield was an accomplice in the infamous nursing home scandal that took place in the Senate race.  Madison police arrested him at his office in Flowood on May 22, 2014, on a charge of conspiracy. He died by his own hand on June 27, 2014.  

Mr. Mayfield's wife Robin, and their two sons, Owen and William, sued the city of Madison, investigators Vickie Currie and Chuck Harrison, Butler Snow (Cochran Campaign's lawyers), Amanda Barbour, Esq., and Madison Mayor Mary Hawkins-Butler in 2017 in U.S. District Court.  

All government officials were sued individually as well.  The lawsuit claimed the defendants were guilty of kidnapping, false imprisonment, depriving the late Mr. Mayfield of his civil rights upon arrest, and other torts.  The case was assigned to U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves. 

The case dragged on as the two sides waged trench warfare, the protracted kind, for years. Judge Reeves dismissed Butler Snow and its associated personnel.  The city of Madison and its employees filed a motion for summary judgment. 

Judge Reeves said Madison police did not arrest Mark Mayfield in retaliation for his political activities.  The Court said a crime indeed took place:

Applied here, for present purposes the Mayfields have stated a prima facie case, as they claim that the retaliatory arrest was for Mark Mayfield’s protected speech in being a vocal McDaniel supporter.⁵ Because the prima facie test is not supposed to be overly burdensome, that is enough.

The City, in turn, has articulated a legitimate, non-retaliatory reason for Mayfield’s arrest. Based on the evidence gathered during its investigation, the City had probable cause that Mayfield conspired with others to trespass onto St. Catherine’s Village property.

In this case, the framework suggests that we should ask a series of questions. Did the  investigation follow the evidence to its targets, or did the police “round up the usual suspects?” Was there anything unusual about the timing or the manner of the City’s investigation?...

An examination of the evidence adduced in this case satisfactorily answers these questions. Instead of rounding up the most vocal McDaniel supporters, city investigators followed the evidence from Kelly to Mary to Mayfield. The police were given free rein to conduct their investigation as they saw fit, without direction from the Mayor, a Cochran supporter. There is no evidence that before the Rose Cochran incident, the City of Madison was itching for an excuse to go after McDaniel supporters. And there is no evidence of differential treatment of McDaniel and Cochran supporters....

The Mayfields have also pressed that, in their minds, the City brought a series of cases against McDaniel supporters that lacked probable cause. Those arguments, however, are generally foreclosed by the guilty pleas of two of the conspirators, as well as the fact that it is the law of the case that the City had probable cause to arrest Mayfield.

Attorneys Dorsey Carson and Steve Thornton represented the plaintiffs.  Attorneys Kaytie Pickett and Adam Stone represented the Mayor and city of Madison.  Roy Smith and Steven Griffin represent the individual officers.

Kingfish note: It appears a certain former Assistant Madison County District Attorney inserted himself in the middle of this drama. Par for the course, as drama seems to follow him wherever he goes.  Keep in mind Mr. Yoder put his name on a fund-raising invitation for Chris McDaniel during the campaign.   

It appears the Mayfields' lawsuit hinged upon his testimony.  Yoder claimed the Mayor threatened to use outside lawyers to go after Clayton Kelly et al, if District Attorney Michael Guest would not prosecute the case.  He claimed one Madison police officer tried to intimidate him into playing "ball" with Madison.  Yoder further alleged his boss said there was no probable cause to arrest Kelly.  

However, Mr. Guest's alleged statement mentions nothing about lacking probable cause.  It claims Mr. Guest said he wanted to place all defendants into a pre-trial diversion program. Such is standard procedure for a non-violent crime such as this one. This website reported the D.A. offered a deal to Clayton Kelly that would keep him out of prison and place him under house arrest.  None of the other defendants who pleaded guilty went to prison.  The supposed proof of a lack of probable cause actually corroborates what took place in the case.  A far cry from some grand conspiracy.  

Mr. Yoder said he reported it all to the FBI.  Mr. Yoder is facing his own legal problems right now.







Anonymous said...

About time. Seven years for this nothingburger?

Mayor Mary has gone two for two this week. What's next?

Anonymous said...

She needs to go to Vegas ASAP! She’d clean up right now as she’s on a roll!

Anonymous said...

Mary's on a roll. Let's get her to take on the #1 abysmal failure of state agencies-the MS Department of Education.

Anonymous said...

Mary needs to be Governor of this dreadful, backwards, 1950ish state. Can you spell vision? It is spelled GUTS.

Anonymous said...

Damn 6:05 you are so right. I’m thinking maybe she should just drive to Jackson and kick ole tater tot out. Screw the election crap too, no need to waste time on that. I mean let’s face it Governor Butler really isn’t a fan of the results of elections. To hell with that nonsense. It looks as though the country is starting to think just like you. What’s the word for it... oh yeah communism that’s it. It’s got to be a ton better with Governor Butler doing the thinking for everyone else. Yea!!!

Anonymous said...

" Mary needs to be Governor"

I've never even thought about that, but you do make a valid point 6:05.

No doubt she learned a lot about state-wide campaigns when she ran for State Auditor a few years ago.

Luv her or hate her, ... but never underestimate her.

Anonymous said...

She loves to brag about the numbers in her last contested mayoral race but accidentally never mentions the results of her misguided run for State Auditor. Whooops!

Anonymous said...

Madison the City is the #1 city in the United States of America. If you live anywhere else and don't like that fact, I've got 3 words for you. Deal with it.

All Hail our Glorious Mayor and all of the greatness that she has created.

Anonymous said...

You can not like her but you have to admit she is competent. If the mayor of Jackson was half as competent I would be fine with him even though I disagree with him on “political “ issues. For local governance I really don’t care that much what your politics are, just be competent and do a good job.

Anonymous said...

8:15, she is a great Mayor, but if you think Madison is #1 in the U.S., your sphere of knowledge must be Orange Beach and Disneyworld.

Or you're just being sarcastic.

Anonymous said...

While I agree there was probably no liability on the city for Mayfield’s taking his own life, and the whole debacle with Rose Cochran was a travesty, STILL — the city clearly mishandled that whole arrest, the police swarming and acting like DEA busting up in a drug cartel.

Anonymous said...

Name a Mayor in Mississippi who works harder than Mary. Name one who has produced a city with less crime than Madison. Name one that has produced a city with property values higher than Madison. Name one who has produced a city with less junk than Madison. I’ll wait.

Go girl! said...

Good on her. Madison has Mayor Mary; Jackson has Mayor Chowke. It sucks to live in Jackson where the unwashed masses continue to vote for a Marxist loser.

Anonymous said...

Bless your Madisonite Hearts.

Your queen may be beloved within the borders of Madison the City and parts of the metro, but “Gov. Hawkins-Butler” will never exist outside of your fantasies. Her appeal outside of the metro is limited, and her role in subverting the will of the people on the MM initiative has her despised by many Mississippians.

Anonymous said...

Reading the order. Never seen a federal judge has the word "bullshit" in an opinion before (and it's not even a quote.)

Anonymous said...

@9:45pm - Don’t forget 30A

Anonymous said...

Queen is on a roll! Wish she could help Baby Chok with Jacktown.

Anonymous said...

It would be nice to have a federal judge to have a little mire decorum and command of the English langiage than to use a word like "bullshit" in his official opinion.

Anonymous said...


Maybe she will get a chance. There appears to be someone getting ready to lobby for a special session to create an expedited study of creating a metropolitan area of Jackson. Talk about racism

Anonymous said...

@9:41, command of the English what? Also, "mire decorum." SMH

Anonymous said...

Not going to lie, Queen Mary is quickly becoming a powerful icon of institutional white supremacy!

Kingfish said...

How so?

Clean city, clean water, and little crime?

Anonymous said...

From the Order:
"At the third and final step, the Mayfields must come forward with evidence that a jury could use to conclude that the City’s probable cause was, for lack of a better term, bullshit."

So a sitting federal district judge and his law clerks could not find a better term than this scatalogical epithet? Someone please send them a dictionary and a thesaurus.

I'm no prude--I've used the word bullshit on many occasions, usually over a beer with close friends and with due regard for my audience--but I am interested in the dignity of the federal courts. There are many, many other words that would have met the point. The use of this word is unseemly at best and does nothing to elevate the Court's image. Judge Reeves, c'mon man, you are better than this.

Anonymous said...

Mayor Mary. . . you go gurl!

Moved from NE Jackson to Madison in 2003. Got top dollar (at that time) for my house.
One of the best decisions I ever made.

Keep up the good work Mayor Mary.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many years Judge Reeves has waited to find an appropriate time to make reference to the book and use the term "bullshit" in an official opinion.

No matter - he waited long enough until he had a perfectly appropriate occasion, which was this case and the lack of evidence of anything, to use it.

The charge was pure bullshit - probably from a registered Angus.

And to all those who are upset due to his use of the term, get over it. He's got a lifetime appointment and probably doesn't give a damn, or would you prefer me use the term 'darn', about what you think of his writing.

Anonymous said...

Why congratulate 'The Butler'? She didn't do anything at all to get this case tossed. She was a named defendant and that's it. Period. But, she'll run the bases as if it's her personal home-run.

Anonymous said...

I live in Madison and the water is dirty.

Anonymous said...

I still wonder how Mayfield was accused of trespassing, when he had access because his mother was there.

Anonymous said...

I suppose sometimes judges pick a word they feel the plaintiff's counsel can comprehend.

It was a bogus case from the beginning and worse, likely stuck the family in the second stage of the grief process.

I have lost all respect for the Mayfields' counsel. If they charged the Mayfields, the fees should be refunded. Their job was to explain why there was NO case and it'd be a tragic waste of emotional energy, time and money!

This case was at the outset for profit or politics, not for the best interests of the clients.

Kingfish said...

Gentleman wrote a long comment but ruined it with the use of one word, which could be considered libelous in nature. I'm sure you'll figure out what it is. Resubmit and it gets approved.

Anonymous said...

Reeves was right to call it what it is. The family just can’t accept that it’s not right to exploit those with dementia. My mother has dementia and I’d be royally angered if someone snuck into her room and took photos and used them in a political ad. Justice was going to be served and sometimes people can’t handle the truth.

Anonymous said...

A federal judge can do what he wants. But that’s not the same as what he or she should do. Decorum matters in federal courts. Casual “bullshit” has no place. Most federal judges understand this. Some don’t. They do themselves no good being clever. Being the judge is much more than being cute and clever. This goes for both conservative and liberal judges. And it goes for minority and majority ones. Sad that standards are deteriorating.

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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!!!

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