Monday, December 9, 2013

DMR update: Stacey is as Stacey does

The battle between the Sun-Herald and State Auditor Stacey Pickering over DMR records raged in Harrison County Chancellor Jennifer Schloegel's courtroom as the newspaper sought to hold Mr. Pickering in contempt of court. The Sun-Herald reported:


Regardless of whether she finds State Auditor Stacey Pickering in civil contempt of court, Chancery Judge Jennifer Schloegel directed his office and the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources to produce public records by Monday, as she ordered in October

At the contempt hearing Wednesday, Pickering's chief of investigations, David Huggins, said under oath Assistant U.S. Attorney John Dowdy subpoenaed records from the DMR to avoid making them public -- not because a grand jury needed them.

The Sun Herald sued the DMR, Pickering and the Auditor's Office under the Mississippi Public Records Act for documents the DMR produced in the daily course of business. The auditor in January seized the records as part of an ongoing investigation into the DMR. After the newspaper's lawsuit was filed, the auditor agreed, then refused, to release copies to the newspaper.

Schloegel declared the records public Oct. 31 at the end of a two-day trial. The auditor's office once again agreed to make the records available for copying, but instead whisked them off in the night Nov. 4 to Jackson.

Pickering testified he was informed after the fact the records had been delivered to the grand jury. Schloegel recessed the hearing until Friday, when Assistant Attorney General Melissa Patterson is expected to testify.

Huggins told Patterson about the subpoena the day it was issued, Nov. 4, but she did not notify Schloegel until after business hours.

At the time, Patterson said she was under the impression the records were still on the Coast and could be copied before delivery to the grand jury. Huggins testified he thought so, too. In the past, he said, he has simply had to secure records, not deliver them to the grand jury....

Huggins said Dowdy subpoenaed the records to protect them, not for the grand jury investigation.

The state and federal investigation is not over, "not by any stretch of the imagination," Huggins said. "It's very active."

Schloegel learned Nov. 5 the records were gone from the Bolton Building in Biloxi, where both the DMR and auditor's investigators had offices. She said all the parties realized at that point the auditor appeared to be in contempt of her orders to protect and produce the records, but she wanted to research the issue before an official ruling. The records had been in her court's custody before they went to Jackson.

The Auditor's Office did not seek direction from Schloegel before taking the records to Jackson. Instead, Huggins said, Dowdy said Nov. 4 "we" were going to call Schloegel. Huggins assumed that meant Dowdy or another federal authority would talk to Schloegel that afternoon.

Then more finger-pointing took place:

Schloegel also refused Wednesday morning the auditor's request to close the hearing to the public. The auditor had cited the state and federal investigations of the DMR as his reason for the request.

Pickering said he had hoped his office could comply with both Schloegel's order to turn over the public records and with the grand jury subpoena. He said he left it up to his staff to do so.

Pickering petitioned the state Supreme Court on Nov. 21 to stay action in the Chancery Court case, including the contempt hearing, but the Supreme Court turned him down Monday.

Pickering told Schloegel he is now prepared to ask a federal judge to release the records so they can be copied for the newspaper. Rest of article

However, the State Auditor was not done as he asked a U.S. District Judge Keith Starrett to allow him to release the records in a motion filed last week. The motion is posted below.   The Sun-Herald again reported:

Mississippi State Auditor Stacey Pickering asked a federal court on Thursday to authorize the release of Mississippi Department of Marine Resources records that are being sought by a Gulf Coast newspaper.

Pickering's motion, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Gulfport, is in response to an order by Harrison County Chancery Judge Jennifer Schloegel.

Gulf Publishing and the Sun Herald newspaper have been fighting Pickering for the records. On Wednesday, Schloegel ordered the documents produced by Monday. She had issued a similar order in October.

Pickering had argued that a federal subpoena prevented his releasing documents seized from MDMR during a corruption investigation. Schloegel disagreed, saying the records were created by the agency, not as investigative reports. Rest of article
Kingfish note: Where is the line?  When is a public record not a public record? Suppose a federal grand jury subpoenas the minutes or budgets of a city?  When did federal law start superseding state public records laws, assuming such state laws are constitutional.  Honest questions as I'm not familiar with this area of the law.   Are all public records thus public but for the whims of the U.S. Attorney's office? Did anyone give a straight answer in court last week?

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

I hope everybody throughout the state remembers this photo of Stacey Pickering in the witness (in this case defendant) chair.He is spending thousands of taxpayers dollars to keep the same taxpayers from accessing public records. Which "DEAR FRIENDS" is he trying so hard to protect and cover for? When he announces his re-election or next political office bid I just he is recalled for what he is, offensive to the public's right to access. Stacey Pickering is just like a babies dirty diaper, they both need changing soon for the same reason.

Anonymous said...

Pickerinmg is covering up for his friends - remember the fundraiser at Joe Cloyd's home - next door to Scott Walker's home where Bill Walker sat on the front porch holding a baby while the guests showed up - they snuck in thru the rear door of the home - just like the rats they are! The whole bunch needs to go - Walkers, Cloyd, Malvaney, Pickering, Fitch, Santa Cruz, Zeigler, etal. They're just like a cockroaches, they keep popping up everywhere arould us!

Anonymous said...

1. Federal Judge Starrett, a former state court judge, cut Pickering off at the knees on his request for help from the feds, saying that Judge Schoegel's order was "the law"; he refused to get involved. So much for federal grand jury usurping state court judge's authority over state law matters.

2. AUSA that had the grand jury subpoena issued for the SOLE reason of avoiding the state court judge's order may have some troubles with DOJ and the State Bar. I say "may".

Anonymous said...

SUPREMACY CLAUSE

"This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding." U.S. Const. art. VI, Paragraph 2

Under the Supremacy Clause, everyone must follow federal law in the face of conflicting state law. It has long been established that "a state statute is void to the extent that it actually conflicts with a valid federal statute" and that a conflict will be found either where compliance with both federal and state law is impossible or where the state law stands as an obstacle to the accomplishment and execution of the full purposes and objectives of Congress. Edgar v. Mite Corp., 457 U.S. 624, 631 (1982). Similarly, we have held that "otherwise valid state laws or court orders cannot stand in the way of a federal court's remedial scheme if the action is essential to enforce the scheme." Stone v. City and County of San Francisco, 968 F.2d 850, 862 (9th Cir. 1992), cert. denied, 113 S. Ct. 1050 (1993).

Due to concerns of comity and federalism, the scope of federal injunctive relief against an agency of state government must always be narrowly tailored to enforce federal constitutional and statutory law only. Toussaint v. McCarthy, 801 F.2d 1080, 1089 (9th Cir. 1986), cert. denied, 481 U.S. 1069 (1987). This is critical because "a federal district court's exercise of discretion to enjoin state political bodies raises serious questions regarding the legitimacy of its authority." Id.
http://www.lectlaw.com/def2/s105.htm

Anonymous said...

4:19---Where you on the conference call? what else did you hear? Are you one of the lawyers for the Walkers?

Anonymous said...

I bet if the truth be known Stacey Pickering ask the US Atty. to issue the subpoena when he did not get the answers he wanted from the Ms. Supreme Court. If not he could have just ignored the Feds or made copies prior to departing for Jackson. The Pickering name just is not what it use to be.
His next movie part may well be alongside Steve Martin in Liar,Liar in Mississippi.


Anonymous said...

A state auditor should not be in a court room and called the defendant while in office.

Anonymous said...

The Sun Herald deserves a Pulitzer for fighting this battle on our behalf. You know there was great pressure to lay off Pickering.

Anonymous said...

A relatively unknown factor here in Central MS is the character of Judge Jennifer Thompson Schloegel. She is the oldest child of Jack Thompson who before his very untimely death in the early 1990s had built Stewart-Sneed-Hewes into the largest insurance agency in MS. Jack was a truly beloved and respected Coast native. Jennifer graduated from Emory Law andcounart returned to Gulfport to raise 5 terrific children.She is one of the most serious and wonderful Christians as well as a pillar of social Gulfport. Truly unique.Pickering is picking on the wrong Judge for sure. Go Jennifer, we Jackson Coastians love you.

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't someone demand look into Pickering's role with Howard Industries??? What Pickering did is criminal!!!!

Anonymous said...

Ever heard of Penaeus LTD of Lula MS? A William W. Walker of Pensacola Fl was one of the directors at some point.

Was this connected to Gulf Coast Research Lab and one of Sen Cochran's 1990s earmarks?

Anonymous said...

This is about Hood. Not Pickering. You will see. Dowdy...your hands aren't clean. You know it Boy.

DeLaughter's Ghost said...

4:30 recites the Supremacy Claus. But that claus pertains to Federal LAWS, treaties and statutes, i.e., the sort of minutia that's 'on the books' and appears in the Federal Register. I'm not thinking that applies to off the wall (and otherwise willy-nilly) knee-jerk demands made by a federal judge. If 4:30 was correct, which he's not, Holder could nullify every law in every state with strokes of his criminal pen.

Anonymous said...

There have been comments made here before about Pickering and Howard Industries. Kingfish, do you have any facts about what this person keeps talking about? I'm sure that I speak for many people that would like to know if he has a 10 foot skeleton in his closet.Personally, I think that Pickering has never done his job. He has made sure to prosecute all the smaller cases for thousands and let all the big guys with millions alone. He has protected the ones who have hurt the tax payers the most. I hope that he is never elected to any office again. 5:29 could not have said it any better.

Anonymous said...

Kingfish, do you have any facts about what this person keeps talking about?

What does your research reveal? Have you done ANY?

Anonymous said...

4:30 recites the Supremacy Claus.

Santa's brother?

Anonymous said...

http://www.mslitigationreview.com/ Some more opinions on Stacey Pickering. Seems that everyone thinks Pickering has done great damage to himself.

4:30 Confesses said...

12:55; I didn't 'recite' it. I 'cited' it. I also misspelled clause as Claus (I'm into the Christmas spirit). And you got the verb wrong in your shoot-from-the-hip attempt to correct me.

Anonymous said...

I hope that ultimately every shred of evidence is brought before the public for review. However, I think all of the arm-chair quarterbacking and condemning is premature. There is a reason the U.S. Attorney issued the subpoena. If there is an ongoing investigation and publicizing the records at this stage impedes the investigation, then Schloegel needs to slow her roll. If I was advising Stacey, and I'm not, it would be to request a conference for an in camera review of the documents. I'd have the U.S. Attorney there to explain why certain documents really need to stay confidential until the investigation is over. I think they are fighting this the wrong way.

Suscribe to latest on JJ.

Recent Comments

Search Jackson Jambalaya

Loading...

Subscribe to JJ's Youtube channel

Archives

Who is the Hottest Reporter in Jackson?

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
.