Hosemann slams DoJ employee for alleged remarks

by MBJ Staff

Published: May 8,2012

Tags: elections, federal agency, Politics, state agency, voter identification, voters, votes, Voting

JACKSON — Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann has addressed the comments allegedly made by a Department of Justice (DoJ) employee, calling her remarks “irresponsible.”

Allegedly, DoJ employee Stephanie Gyamfi posted the following statements on the social networking site, Facebook: “They never do…disgusting and shameful.  Hey, that should replace the state motto!  “Mississippi: Disgusting and Shameful.”…forget the magnolia state motto.”

“I find these comments unprofessional, unwarranted, irresponsible and misguided, particularly with Mississippi’s pending voter identification submission before the Department of Justice,” said Hosemann.  “I respectfully request the Department of Justice take appropriate disciplinary action against Ms. Gyamfi and to publically clarify its own position that such a statement does not reflect the opinions of its department.

“I do not believe an employee who makes such statements should review any voter identification application by the State of Mississippi, or, for that matter, any state subject to Section 5.”

Federal law requires any voting change in Mississippi to receive preclearance from the DoJ.  Gyamfi’s job description for the DoJ includes reviewing whether these voting changes meet the requirements of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, according to a release from Hosemann.

In a conversation with Hosemann, Gyamfi said the statement was taken, “out of context.”

“A Justice Department employee stating our state is ‘disgusting and shameful’ is another indication Mississippi’s voter ID submission will not receive fair consideration,” said Hosemann.  “The real problem is not the current culture of Mississippi, but the current culture of the Justice Department.”

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