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Tag Archives: Mississippi Ethics Commission

City mulling new policy on public's access to emails, texts

TUPELO — The city of Tupelo could become the first Mississippi city to set a policy about public access to text messages and email involving elected officials or municipal employees conducting city business. City attorney Ben Logan released a draft of a proposed policy Tuesday and told the Tupelo City Council that a final version could be ready for consideration ...

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Newspaper wants ruling from Ethics Commission on emails

TUPELO — A Tupelo newspaper is asking the Mississippi Ethics Commission for advice on whether an email between the mayor and a department head regarding city business is exempt from the public records law. The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal is seeking access to emails between Mayor Jason Shelton and former city Development Services director BJ Teal. Tupelo city attorney Ben ...

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School superintendent violates ethics law, fined

TUPELO — Lee County Schools Superintendent Jimmy Weeks will repay the district more than $33,000 and pay a $10,000 fine for violating state ethics law. Weeks was cited by the Mississippi Ethics Commission for a cleaning and janitorial company he owned performing work for the school district. He offered to pay a $10,000 fine in addition to repaying the $33,426 ...

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OUR VIEW: Tight budget could give cover to cuts in government oversight

Let’s hope that the Mississippi Ethics Commission is correct in thinking a proposal to take an 18 percent bite out of the watchdog agency’s budget grew out of a misunderstanding with the Joint Legislative Budget Committee. Otherwise, good government in the Magnolia State is about to sustain a serious wound. In fact, a “devastating” one, Ethics Commission director Tom Hood ...

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Ethics Commission chief expects agency to escape budget ax

  Mississippi Ethics Commission Director Tom Hood says he has assurances that a Joint Legislative Budget Committee proposal to cut 18 percent from the tiny watchdog agency’s 2013 budget won’t be carried out. Hood attributed the proposed cut to the timing of the Budget Committee’s work. The committee directed state departments and agencies to provide it a list of vacant ...

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Editorial: Mississippi needs more openness in government

When it comes to citizen access to meetings and records of local and state elected and appointed bodies, Mississippi’s law says: — “The formation and determination of public policy is public business and shall be conducted at open meetings.” — “Providing access to public records is a duty of each public body and automation of public records must not erode ...

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Meridian Star files ethics complaint against supes

MERIDIAN — The Meridian Star has filed a complaint with the Mississippi Ethics Commission against the Lauderdale County supervisors’ discussion of garbage fees during a closed meeting called to personnel matters. Supervisors have contended the conversation was an innocent one and unplanned. They say the intent wasn’t to hide the discussion from the public. Violations of Mississippi’s Open Meetings Law ...

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Q&A: Tom Hood, Executive Director/Chief Counsel, Mississippi Ethics Commission

Chief of Ethics Hood oversees changes at Ethics Commission In 2003, Tom Hood arrived at Mississippi Ethics Commission, and it didn’t take long for him to make an impression. Three years later, he was named executive director and chief counsel of the organization charged with weighty responsibility of ensuring high ethics in government law. During his tenure, there have been ...

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Managing ethics when no one else is looking

Mississippi Power Company attorney, Ben Stone, of Balch & Bingham’s Gulfport office, should seriously examine his role as Chairman of the Mississippi Ethics Commission. Stone said in a hearing last week (Sept. 14) at the Mississippi Public Service Commission that he did not disagree with the Attorney General’s opinion that according to state statute, public utilities cannot hide information regarding ...

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