BREAKING: Melton, Kids Accused of Destroying Private Home | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

BREAKING: Melton, Kids Accused of Destroying Private Home

Photo Gallery of Destruction
Sept. 1, 2006

Web & JFP Exclusive

Residents of the city's Virden Addition tell the Jackson Free Press that they saw Mayor Frank Melton and a team of young men partially demolish a duplex at 1305 Ridgeway Street last Saturday night. Unlike at least some of the dilapidated homes that Melton has been regularly burning down in the city, this home was privately owned and occupied, they say.

Michael Smith, of Jackson, is among residents near Bailey Avenue claiming that the mayor and a team of young men took sledgehammers to a home owned by Jennifer Sutton, hours after the mayor cut his hand during a crime sweep on the street.

"They tore up everything. They tore up the front of the house, they knocked holes in the walls, and they poured paint all over the kitchen," said Smith, gesturing to a smashed toilet. "Him and them boys messed this whole place up."

Today the duplex sits with gray plastic covering the front end and smashed windows along the sides and the back. The interior is heaped with the smashed remnants of the occupant's belongings, including televisions and electronics, and the eave of the house has tumbled to the front lawn because neighbors say Melton and his cohorts smashed the front wall supports that once held it.

The Clarion-Ledger reported Aug. 27 that Melton had cut both hands in a crime sweep on the same street, but made no mention of Melton coming back for more.

One neighbor, who says she wants to remain anonymous for fear of repercussions, says Melton made two trips to the home last Saturday, each one of them delivering destruction upon the place.

"We, my kids and our friends, were all standing outside watching everything. Frank and them young people jumped out of that big bus (the Mobile Command Center). When Melton got out of the truck, he said he was gonna stop the drugs that's going on in this area around the kids. … Then they went in there and busted all the windows out and put a big hole in the front. He didn't take anybody to jail the first time because the (resident) was just standing outside the house," the neighbor said.

That was the first time Melton came, according to the neighbor. She says Melton left and then came back 45 minutes to an hour later, without police, and smashed the place even more thoroughly with the help of young men claiming to be members of the Wood Street Players.

"They just demolished the man's house," she said. "They busted toilets, they busted furniture, they tore up stoves and put holes in the walls. They just demolished the house the second time. (The resident) was still standing outside the house. Frank put him in cuffs. I don't know if he took him to jail or not, because I haven't seen him. He was just looking. There wasn't nothing he could do. Frank's got big bodyguards around him; what are you going to do?"

Owner Jennifer Sutton, 37, says the renter was Evans Welch. She said she hasn't heard from Welch since his arrest that night. Jackson Police Department spokesman Tyrone Lewis did not return calls and did not confirm Welch's arrest.

Smith said he didn't think Welch was dealing drugs and didn't deserve the treatment.

"Naw, he wasn't no dealer. Frank says everybody's a dealer. ####. If he was a dealer, why didn't (Melton) bring MBN (Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics) or ATF? He didn't even bring the police with him that second time. He just brought some damn children and they broke the place," Smith said.

Sutton said she intends to sue the city for vandalism of her property, among other things, and has already hired the services of Attorney Barbara Blackmon to handle the case. Blackmon did not immediately return calls.

Hinds County District Attorney Faye Peterson said Friday that Melton had put the city in serious liability for a lawsuit if what witnesses say is true.

"The government cannot possess and destroy private property, so on its face that's a civil violation," Peterson said, admitting that she'd rarely encountered this kind of incident in her career.

"If it's true, I would have to look this one up because this is rather unique. I'm just not sure off the top of my head how to classify this. I've never heard of anybody just going in and destroying somebody's house. The damage to the property may very well be a felony."

A felony conviction could cost Melton his job as mayor of the city. Sutton said she might press charges against him.

"Well, yeah, I'm considering pressing charges. He came back that Monday and sat on my porch and told the neighbors he was going to come back and finish the job (of tearing it down), saying he didn't care who the owner was," Sutton said. "I might have to do something."

ACLU Executive Director Nsombi Lambright said Friday that the ACLU would be willing to escort Sutton to the police department to file charges against the mayor if the owner felt she needed the protection.

The Jackson Free Press tried to reach Mayor Frank Melton Friday for comment, but he said through bodyguard Michael Recio that he has "no comment."

Welch's mother Lawana Welch said she knew her mentally disabled son had been arrested by police but had not been told on what charges.

"They won't tell me why they arrested him and I'm really worried about him," Welch said. "He called me the night they got him saying 'Momma, Momma, call the landlady. Call the landlady. Tell them that I've been paying my rent.'"

"I know he was so proud of living on his own, even though I took care of his rent," Welch continued. "He was living on his own, and that's what he wanted. I just wish I'd known Melton was going to do this."

Watch this space for updates to this story ...

This story is Copyright 2006 Jackson Free Press. Any use of its contents, including quotes from interviews, must be attributed to the Jackson Free Press.

Update, Sept. 5, 2006: In a follow-up interview, District Attorney Faye Peterson told the JFP today that, if the allegations about the duplex destruction are true, the mayor could be charged and convicted of one of three felonies: (1) Violation of 97-17-67, Malicious Mischief, up to $10,000 fine and five years in prison, (2) 97-17-1-6, Inducing a Minor to Commit a Felony, up to 20 years in prison, (3) 97-1-7, Conspiracy to Commit Malicious Mischief. Also, the victims do not have to press charges in order for arrests occur; it can be taken straight to a grand jury.

The district attorney declined to confirm whether her office plans to make arrests in this case. More details in the print edition Wednesday.

Update, Sept. 15, 2006: Melton indicted on felony gun charges and for duplex demolition. Hear audio of DA, sheriff and AG press conferences here. For breaking news updates on the case, watch the JFP's MeltonBlog daily.

Previous Comments

ID
88770
Comment

OMG! This is messed up! Do you have more pictures you can post? And certain politicans want us to support him, and his unorthodox means, so we can rid the city of crime? Who do you represent? What do you represent? You don't represent me and I too think crime is a problem!

Author
pikersam
Date
2006-09-01T17:43:10-06:00
ID
88771
Comment

I just heard about this on the Kim Wade Show (who gave the JFP credit for the story, BTW). This is scary stuff! When I add this to the Upper Level incident, the "kids" who regularly accompany Melton on the MCU and live with him doing God knows what, and the rumor mill on the street, it is a very depressing picture for the Bold New City.

Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2006-09-01T18:07:44-06:00
ID
88772
Comment

When I heard city officials praising Melton last night for his vigilantism, I was shaking my head with disbelief. These tactics are inevitably going to cost the City thousands of dollars that we badly need for education, road repairs and better training for police. Thousands of dollars the City is going to have to pay because the mayor, who is not a police officer, wants to play vigilante and terrorize the people Jackson. Melton has cast himself from a very old Southern mold--that of men such as Bull Connor who believe might makes right so long as it's used in the name of 'Justice'. Constitutional rights be damned.

Author
Brent Cox
Date
2006-09-01T18:24:04-06:00
ID
88773
Comment

Brent, I'm beginning to suspect that Melton honestly wants the city to go bankrupt. Remember that he turned down $250,000 in free money from UMC to fund expenses for a fire department that now faces a budget shortfall, and fired a lobbying firm that had brought in more than $110 million in federal grants so that he could spend more money than that hiring one inexperienced friend who will have to be shuttled back and forth from Washington. Meanwhile, he goes out of his way to do things that will get the city sued--in a manner that often has absolutely no crimefighting value, and in fact encourages lawlessness. I hope to God he's successfully indicted on a felony count and leaves the mayor's office sooner rather than later. If he'd been successful in his jihad against Faye Peterson, we'd be looking at a new, probably more Melton-friendly D.A. But unlike Jim Hood, who has so far shown himself to be a cowardly and pathetic excuse for an attorney general, I don't think Peterson will hesitate to nail Melton's butt to the wall. This could be it, folks. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-09-01T18:54:16-06:00
ID
88774
Comment

Is this totally a violation of civil rights? Of the constitution? Unreasonable search and seizure? To me it is a new shade of the KKK. The only hope the Administration has to pull through this by the hair of their chin is possibly some type of extended in-patient treatment. BTW: The man is probably Evans Welch, DOB 11-28-1960

Author
ChrisCavanaugh
Date
2006-09-01T19:22:00-06:00
ID
88775
Comment

For any who still wonders why there are rumors of Melton being the head of a massive drug distribution network in the metro area...it is because this is the type of thing drug dealers do when they think some one has moved into there space

Author
ecb
Date
2006-09-01T19:29:58-06:00
ID
88776
Comment

Updated. Note new comments from Welch's mother at the end.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2006-09-01T20:32:09-06:00
ID
88777
Comment

Also, I assume that all know this incident allegedly occurred earlier the evening that witnesses say that the Upper Level manager was beaten while in handcuffs by young men riding on the Mobile Command Center. Here's that story just in case.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-01T20:37:21-06:00
ID
88778
Comment

what do you say? Some things just speak for themselves. Probably one thing that me, Ladd, Kate, Tim, Tom, Brian et al will completely agree on.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-09-01T20:49:57-06:00
ID
88779
Comment

WLBT is doing the story tonight @ ten PM....with reaction from Melton.

Author
inside story
Date
2006-09-01T21:02:56-06:00
ID
88780
Comment

This poor disabled man. Where is he? I am truly horrified and nauseated. Please keep us updated. Did the man missing last month from the motel ever reappear?

Author
ChrisCavanaugh
Date
2006-09-01T21:04:23-06:00
ID
88781
Comment

You mean our media in Jackson is actually going to cover this? For this we get ONE TV station to cover it? Wonder if CL and other TV stations will cover it?

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-09-01T21:10:03-06:00
ID
88782
Comment

*sigh* ...and to think people of Jackson think he's actually doing good. They don't know better, and obviously just love watching him misbehave until he comes for them. How can any good JPD officer (assuming they exist) stand by and watch this man trash the city?

Author
Ironghost
Date
2006-09-01T21:11:57-06:00
ID
88783
Comment

trust me, everyone in town will do this story tomorrow.

Author
inside story
Date
2006-09-01T21:29:06-06:00
ID
88784
Comment

Well, they'd better not plagiarize Adam and not say where they got the story from. This one will be a good test of the ethics of our local media. Will they, or won't they?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-01T21:53:05-06:00
ID
88785
Comment

Story on Wlbt says Minne Rhodes owns the property???is the new owner to be Jennifer Sutton?

Author
guywithanidea
Date
2006-09-01T22:03:48-06:00
ID
88786
Comment

I just saw that, too. We'll get back to y'all on the discrepancy asap. No, they didn't say where they got this story. And this was a major effort by Adam Lynch. Schmucks. Otherwise, not a bad story. Didn't make Melton look good. Houston, we've got a problem. Also, re the next story, could someone please tell WLBT that there is NOT "charge" of "home invasion" to be charged with?!?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-01T22:06:21-06:00
ID
88787
Comment

They didn't get the story from the JFP. Folks call WLBT too!

Author
inside story
Date
2006-09-01T22:15:24-06:00
ID
88788
Comment

that's the price you pay i guess... It wasn't like they stole all your quotes and just reread them without credit...I really did look like they spent some time on the ground...to tell you the truth i don't know many stories I read that are properly credited i guess. i looked up the tax roll for owners and it it shows jennifer sutton...It did look like Minnie went to get her hair done before the interview thou:)! http://www.co.hinds.ms.us/pgs/apps/landroll_detail.asp?ID=421-330

Author
guywithanidea
Date
2006-09-01T22:15:39-06:00
ID
88789
Comment

Just talked to Adam about the owner thing. He's confused by this, and will confirm it tomorrow. He got Ms. Sutton's names from the county property rolls, and then interviewed her. She said she was the owner and has been for three years. We'll figure this out tomorrow and update y'all. (UPDATE: The JFP report is correct; Sutton is the owner.)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-01T22:17:44-06:00
ID
88790
Comment

I know people call WLBT, too. Some of the people interviewed said they had tried to interest TV in the story earlier in the week, and no one came out, or had been out before Adam did his reporting. Then we post ours today before 5 p.m., and they get it on the 10 o'clock news. It seems very clear that they ran over early evening after seeing it. It's truly bad form not to give credit where it's due. We do it all the time. They've done better by us in the past, but I guess they couldn't resist trying to own this one themselves. That's too bad.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-01T22:20:35-06:00
ID
88791
Comment

Here's a prediction: When they get around to this story, The Clarion-Ledger will credit WLBT. ;-)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-01T22:23:13-06:00
ID
88792
Comment

Donna- Trust me. WLBT did not get the story from the JFP. Ask Frank what time he was interviewed? Ask Minnie Rhodes what time she was interviewed? Call Tyronne Lewis and ask him. This is trivial. Lets talk about the issues at hand.

Author
inside story
Date
2006-09-01T22:24:49-06:00
ID
88793
Comment

Hey, I'm all about talking about both -- the mess with Mr. Melton, which if you hadn't noticed, I have been talking about for more than a year and a half now. But I also will continue to discuss the ethics of the local media. I can't tell you how many times we have been burned by both the Ledge and the the TV media who "have learned" about a story we ran and then followed it up. Sounds like you work for WLBT. Maybe you can explain the discrepancy between Minnie Rhodes and the name on the property rolls -- Jennifer Sutton? Stop being defensive and help us out. And, we all know that WLBT would have run with this at 5 or 6 p.m. had they had it soon enough. Did they?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-01T22:33:00-06:00
ID
88794
Comment

They didn't because they like have fresh stuff for ten. Jennifer Sutton has some kind of "rent-to-own" agreement with Minnie Rhodes. She may have control over the place and pay the taxes, but she won't totally "own" it until she pays Rhodes in full. Hope that helps.

Author
inside story
Date
2006-09-01T22:35:44-06:00
ID
88795
Comment

donna...one criticism well a couple... more pictures take some pictures litter the story with them and give us a gallery too!!!!!! record your interview and put them on the website both video and audio; mix it up...That will be awesome...(yeah don't tell me about resources because you know you will get plenty of ad money if you do this!!!:) so all in all not negative criticism, but if you do stuff like that and keep breaking stories you have no problem and you know it!

Author
guywithanidea
Date
2006-09-01T22:37:49-06:00
ID
88796
Comment

What got me was Melton's comment to the effect that any time someone is arrested for dealing drugs in a house, it'll be torn down. Interesting approach, considering the number of drug arrests that result in acquittals. Certainly unconstitutional, certainly tortuous, and if it's not criminal, it should be. I do wonder, now, what it will take for Kenneth Stokes and the Jackson Advocate to turn against him. You'd think that having his men (uniformed and otherwise) go around beating black people up and demolishing non-abandoned housing would raise a few eyebrows. The phrase "personality cult" is beginning to come to mind. I can't imagine what else would lead Kenneth Stokes to abandon his entire ward like this. Ordinarily you would not expect to see Stokes smile big and say "OF COURSE the city can beat up random black teenagers and destroy property at will!," but that's what his silence tells us and I think that's horribly unfortunate. Not that Ben Allen is scoring any points right now, either. Where the hell is our City Council? Peace, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-09-01T22:38:03-06:00
ID
88797
Comment

If you go back and watch the 6pm news. You will see a tease in the show for this story to air at ten. That would be very hard to shoot and turn around in less than one hour. Not to mention Frank demolished that home in Washington Addition @ 2:30pm.

Author
inside story
Date
2006-09-01T22:38:06-06:00
ID
88798
Comment

Here's a hint, insidestory: When someone else reports a story first, just say, "As reported on the Jackson Free Press Web site this afternoon ... ." It's simple. We do it all the time.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-01T22:39:02-06:00
ID
88799
Comment

Minnie Rhodes is just a mortgage holder then...she's not the owner Sutton is. If Sutton defaults on the loan then Rhodes can foreclose...She should of identified her self appropriately...

Author
guywithanidea
Date
2006-09-01T22:39:28-06:00
ID
88800
Comment

Why would anyone do that unless you are going to use items from that story. WLBT did its own legwork.

Author
inside story
Date
2006-09-01T22:40:42-06:00
ID
88801
Comment

guy, we put some interviews on the Web site, and we plan to do a gallery of these photos (gallery added). We were the first paper around here to start using multimedia, blogs, PDFs, etc., so it's safe to say we "mix it up" already. Insidestory, we know that the other media heard about this today Adam started investigating and started scrambling to do it today. Why do you think we posted it today? Because we knew that he had woke up the other media; he was the one telling all the official sources about it. BTW, where were your official sources other than Melton. Gone for the day? Of course, the tease was there at 6 p.m. That gave y'all time to get it together in time for 10. You could've given credit where it's due, and you know it. No surprises.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-01T22:43:35-06:00
ID
88802
Comment

Tom Head...stop inciting people...This is not a race issue. Why do you want it to be one? The freaking story is good enough without you trying to juice it up with what you want to hear. saying things like "go around beating black people " is just plain wrong and irresponsible.

Author
guywithanidea
Date
2006-09-01T22:44:29-06:00
ID
88803
Comment

Why would they give credit to the source that broke the story and whose work alerted them to it? Come on, insidestory. Sounds like you've worked in Jackson media for too long. Tom, I know: That was totally shocking. He's going to sledgehammer homes of people suspected of doing drugs? And where is this guy?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-01T22:45:13-06:00
ID
88804
Comment

No it's not, guy. That's who he is targeting. Brent Cox's Bull Connor comment was right on.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-01T22:45:55-06:00
ID
88805
Comment

guy makes a good point, insidestory, about the owner situation.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-01T22:47:09-06:00
ID
88806
Comment

This tired old argument is such B.S. Fact the city is 70% + black Fact the areas everyone's calling trouble areas is primaily black. Fact Frank says he's black Fact (history will confirm if you are not convinced already) Frank Melton is CRAZY. No matter his motivation he is just plain CRAZY. Fact black people are the poorest, most uneducated, and thus most prone to commiting crimes. SocioEconomic and all the crap the "educated" will tell you confirm this. Has anyone ever taken a ride over there where they are talking about? It's a freaking war zone. There are streets with houses with no doors and people just sitting on the porches and trash all over the place with broken down cars etc etc. Frank's definintely in the right area to fight crime in Jackson...His tactics just suck! What's frank a black man trying to do run all the black people out? Stokes is more a segragationists in my opinion than Melton (if that's what you are getting at on the Connor comments)...he's the one who is always saying black this and black that and we don't need no more white represenatives on the Council.

Author
guywithanidea
Date
2006-09-01T22:57:39-06:00
ID
88807
Comment

hehe...funny me and ladd agree on somethings...hehe Remember I'm adamant...Frank is CRAZY; that's your root cause.

Author
guywithanidea
Date
2006-09-01T22:58:57-06:00
ID
88808
Comment

Isn't possession of marijuana a misdemeanor? How did they get him into the Detention Center. Thought non-violent folks usually were not kept.

Author
ChrisCavanaugh
Date
2006-09-01T23:17:17-06:00
ID
88809
Comment

Please, please, please Jackson Free Press, find out if Evans Welch is OK. Alledgedly, he was beaten and arrested after his home was taken to with sledge hammers. The property can be repaired. Does anyone know if Evan is OK? Alledgedly he's in the Raymond jail. PLEASE see if he's alright.

Author
JAR
Date
2006-09-01T23:46:29-06:00
ID
88810
Comment

Why haven't all of the news stations covered this.. not just WLBT? Why hasn't the Clarion Ledger covered this? WHY?

Author
JAR
Date
2006-09-01T23:54:22-06:00
ID
88811
Comment

If Ms. Ladd's belief is correct.... Imagine the Washington Post and the New York Times are both working a story about Rummy beating off in a bathtoom at the pentagon, and both have separate sources, witnesses and interviews....the NYT publishes their story, on the web, three hours before the WaPo goes to print. Then, according to Ms. Ladd's theory, the WaPo should credit NYT in their story?!? No thanks. That is ludicris. Get a grip Donna. Not everyone reads the JFP. I may be just one ( and I first saw it at 9pm...check the time of the original post) of three out of more than 100 at WLBT. The managers don't even pay attention. Good night.

Author
inside story
Date
2006-09-02T00:52:18-06:00
ID
88812
Comment

First the satire: In what break out session did they discuss this crime fighting tactic last night at the crime summit? ;-p Ok seriously: Mr. McCreery is this a property crime? Do you think you can get a conviction? Safe-City and N-Jam'ers do you think Mr. Melton and his crew should be let free on bail for Malicious Mischief on the felony level? Seems like it is good enough for the "thugs" who commit property crimes otherwise - especially those that happen near your homes. Are you true to what you preach? This was plain gang intimidation and destruction at the hands of the mayor, Frank Melton, as the leader - the influence and the instigator. SEC. 97-17-67. Malicious mischief (4) In all cases restitution to the victim for all damages shall be ordered. The value of property destroyed, disfigured or injured by the same party as part of a common crime against multiple victims may be aggregated together and if the value exceeds One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00), shall be a felony. 6) Anyone who by any word, deed or act directly or indirectly urges, aids, abets, suggests or otherwise instills in the mind of another the will to so act shall be considered a principal in the commission of said crime and shall be punished in the same manner. SOURCES: Codes, Hutchinson's 1848, ch. 64, art. 7(2); 1857, ch. 64, art. 202; 1871, Sec. 2709; 1880, Sec. 2919; 1892, Sec. 1209; 1906, Sec. 1287; Hemingway's 1917, Sec. 1019; 1930, Sec. 1049; 1942, Sec. 2281; Laws, 1962, ch. 319; 1968, ch. 357, Sec. 1; Laws, 2003, ch. 434, § 1, HB 1105, eff from and after July 1, 2003. Sure sounds like Malicious Mischief has more teeth in it, than Ben and Larry would have you believe on the radio, when you actually read MS Code. Larry, do you think that these men and Frank should be brought up on stage at the Telecom Center, as you suggested for another criminal in Jackson this morning on your show, and "beat the tar out of 'em" for a while? You said that was your one wish that could have happened at the Crime Summit? Some hardy laughs had by the three of y'all in studio. Is what happened on W. Ridgeway not a crime, as defined, by some of the same "thugs" you rail against everyday? Good for the Goose... Enjoy church! And here is more relevant Ms Code for when Melton ripped up the FOI from the Clarion Ledger: SEC. 97-11-1. Alteration of records. If any clerk of any court, or public officer or any other person, shall wittingly make any false entry, or erase any work or letter, or change any record belonging to any court or public office, whether in his keeping or not, he shall, on conviction thereof, be imprisoned in the penitentiary for a term not exceeding ten years, and be liable to the action of the party aggrieved. SOURCES: Codes, 1857, ch. 64, art. 10; 1871, Sec. 2489; 1880, Sec. 2703; 1892, Sec. 959; 1906, Sec. 1035; Hemingway's 1917, Sec. 760; 1930, Sec. 778; 1942, Sec. 2004. Here's a MS Code for when Melton wouldn't return the felon to Sheriff McMillan upon request when the guy was in the back seat of the car at the time: SEC. 97-11-35. Failure to return known offenders; purposeful avoidance of knowledge of offense. If any judge, justice court judge, constable, member of the board of supervisors, sheriff, or other peace officer, shall willfully neglect or refuse to return any person committing any offense against the laws, committed in his view or knowledge, or of which he has any notice, or shall willfully absent himself when such offense is being or is about to be committed, for the purpose of avoiding a knowledge of the same, he shall, on conviction, be fined not less than One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) nor more than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00), and may, in the discretion of the court, be removed from office. SOURCES: Codes, 1871, Sec. 2889; 1880, Sec. 2756; 1892, Sec. 1225; 1906, Sec. 1301; Hemingway's 1917, Sec. 1034; 1930, Sec. 1065; 1942, Sec. 2297; Laws, 1986, ch. 459, Sec. 41, eff from and after July 1, 1986. Here's another for failure to preform duties: SEC. 97-11-37. Failure to perform any duty. If any person, being sheriff, clerk of any court, constable, assessor, or collector of taxes, or holding any county office whatever, or mayor, marshal, or constable, or any other officer of any city, town, or village, shall knowingly or willfully fail, neglect, or refuse to perform any of the duties required of him by law, or shall fail or refuse to keep any record required to be kept by law, or shall secrete the same, or shall violate his duty in any respect, he shall, on conviction thereof, be fined not exceeding One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00), or be imprisoned in the county jail not exceeding six (6) months, or both. SOURCES: Codes, Hutchinson's 1848, ch. 33, art. 14(1); 1857, ch. 64, art. 62; 1871, Sec. 2890; 1880, Sec. 2757; 1892, Sec. 1226; 1906, Sec. 1302; Hemingway's 1917, Sec. 1035; 1930, Sec. 1066; 1942, Sec. 2298; Laws, 1986, ch. 459, Sec. 42, eff from and after July 1, 1986. And just in case the rumors I hear are true, this one may be important too: SEC. 97-11-23. Drunkenness in office. Any officer who shall be guilty of habitual drunkenness, or who shall be drunk while in the actual discharge of the duties of his office, or when called on to perform them, may be indicted therefor, and, upon conviction, shall be removed from office. SOURCES: Codes, 1880, Sec. 424; 1892, Sec. 1233; 1906, Sec. 1309; Hemingway's 1917, Sec. 1042; 1930, Sec. 1074; 1942, Sec. 2307. Seem pretty clear what has to happen here. I would expect those who are championing that we better enforce the laws, per crime summit propaganda, better take that step if they want to maintain any type of creditability in the City. But, I guess you guys see it as OK since the Mayor still says: (per WLBT) The Mayor said, "If I catch anyone using drugs or dealing drugs out of a home, I am going to take it down." You don't think some of your neighbors aren't abusing scripts or smoking weed right here in Eastover. Or that the children in NEJax/Madison/Rankin aren't "experimenting" with friends and drugs - usually at some parents house!

Author
pikersam
Date
2006-09-02T00:58:36-06:00
ID
88813
Comment

It sounds like Sutton has an installment land contract. The seller retains the title to the property while the buyer makes monthly installments to the seller. Usually this is done when the buyer cannot receive financing from a third party. Unfortunately, this is a very bad deal for buyer because if this transfer is not recorded (usually isn't) then seller can burden the property with liens that he will not be motivated to clear. Additionally, provisions in the contract are usually seller oriented and impose acceleration clauses when the buyer misses payments.

Author
dellaw33
Date
2006-09-02T07:54:10-06:00
ID
88814
Comment

Hey just got a chance to read this, I was wondering if my homeowner's has an endorsement to cover property damage caused by "Frank Melton and his thugs" for when my sitter smoke a joint?

Author
malt
Date
2006-09-02T08:39:03-06:00
ID
88815
Comment

Thanks Pikersam for giving us this very valuable information of the Ms Codes. It dosen't make sense that anyone would argue that Melton is probably one of the worst "criminals" of mordern days. IMO our AG has just totally been punked by Melton. I hope that the voters remember these non-actions on election day. Melton is becoming a virus that is worse than the terrorism that we are now facing in our country. We are trying to keep the terrorists out, but we are allowing this terrorist playing a mayor to stay. It is a repulsive and severe blow to our city. We MUST get this maniac our of office before ther is nothing left of this city but bad memories. I am ashamed for this idiot that we call mayor because obviously he dosen't have sense enough to feel ashamed himself. Kenneth Stokes had finally come out and let everyone know that he is for sale too. If Danks, Ditto, or even Johnson had done any of these things in his ward, he would have not stopped until they were tar and feathered and run out of town. Melton had just given ALL of the criminal element a get-out-of-jail-free card with his actions. If anyone else commits any of these crimes now, they cannot be prosecuted either because they will simply say that "you didn't prosecute Frank".

Author
lance
Date
2006-09-02T09:06:00-06:00
ID
88816
Comment

Well, Mr. or Ms. Inside Story, unless I missed it, the State's largest newspaper did not offer any news on this important story. Just find it so difficult to believe they would not have covered this as they are a primary reason FM is in office, not to mention their responsibility to keep the public informed. Surely all of their reporters didn't take off for the holiday weekend! I find it very telling that FM did not deny the story at all. I will find it very insulting if he and his 'boys' are not being questioned by authorities now. Someone on the City Council NEEDS to make a statement. This is a very heavy road we are traveling but we are still Americans and the Constitution is still in effect and we need help and leadership.

Author
ChrisCavanaugh
Date
2006-09-02T09:11:35-06:00
ID
88817
Comment

*shakes head*

Author
Tim Kynerd
Date
2006-09-02T09:27:37-06:00
ID
88818
Comment

Chris- You hit the nail on the head. He didn't deny it. He said, "I have no comment on that." Will anyone in power do something about this? We know the cops won't, and we know where the A.G. stands. Who is left? the D.A and the Feds...we'll just have to see what happens. We all know that the state's largest paper is often times asleep at the wheel. Go by the house today. I promise you they will be out there. Now that is an organization that needs to give credit where credit is due.

Author
inside story
Date
2006-09-02T09:34:46-06:00
ID
88819
Comment

Kudos to WLBT for giving this story legs, but a (hopefully constructive) criticism, as well. Reporters for the station need to be encouraged a bit in the art of the follow-up question, instead of simply seeking the obligatory "response from the Mayor" and calling it a day. This may be increasingly important, as Melton appears to be falling into a pattern of categorically denying actions alleged by others. If the reporters are too nervous to have the questions in mind, producers should encourage them to jot them down in their reporter's notebook before turning on the camera. Some possibilities include: "Mr. Mayor, eyewitnesses place you and the mobile command unit at the house last Saturday. What's your response?" "Was the mobile command center out of your control at any time last Saturday?" "Where is Mr. Welch being held?" "On what evidence is Mr. Welch being held?" I'm guessing some of these questions couldn't be asked yesterday because WLBT didn't have the story yet when they interviewed the mayor. But, armed with whatever research you had after getting wind of the story, I'd certainly encourage the news team to consider their responsibilty to not just get an "official" reaction from the mayor, but to also hold him accountable for his answers via follow-ups. It may be an existential question for WLBT, which has a history of being the "official" outlet for Mr. Melton's point of view, both during his stint in management and via some less-than-antagonistic coverage during the campaign and later. WLBT has a storied legacy -- the station came up again in a book I'm reading right now about the media and its civic responsibility. But it goes without saying that for many years the station has clearly had a close relationship with the man who is now Mayor -- that relationship still seems to affect the news department's willingness to ask follow-ups, particularly when you have the powerful inducement of a TV camera pointed at the man. At least, that's the perception I'm left with after watching last night -- perhaps subsequent reports will disabuse me of that notion. :-)

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2006-09-02T12:07:29-06:00
ID
88820
Comment

"Where is Mr. Welch being held?".... if you took the time to watch or read the story, Welch was sentenced to 120 days in jail. He is at the Raymond Detention Center. This voids the your next question "On what evidence is Mr. Welch being held?" The charges are in the police docket. He obviously plead Guilty or was found guilty on the misdamenor charges during a municipal court hearing "Mr. Mayor, eyewitnesses place you and the mobile command unit at the house last Saturday. What's your response?".... His response to this question was .... "I don't know anything about any of that," said Melton. "We just know that it was a drug house. We have got cocaine, marijuana, paraphernalia and children out of that house." When asked about the destruction of the home, Melton said, "I don't have any comment on that." "Was the mobile command center out of your control at any time last Saturday?".... it is never out of his control. It lives at his house. Todds: "I'm guessing some of these questions couldn't be asked yesterday because WLBT didn't have the story yet when they interviewed the mayor." Fact: Melton was interviews at 2:30, when called all the media to the washington addition to watch him bulldozer a home. The reporter who interviewed had been working the story for more than a day. He asked as many questions he could before the mayor walked away. as for all your other points...they have been read and absorbed. constructive criticism is always appreciated. I believe your co-worker used the term "Schmucks" to describe WLBT....ummm. last time I checked, that was not considered constructive.

Author
inside story
Date
2006-09-02T12:39:01-06:00
ID
88821
Comment

We've got a mayor who thinks it's okay to tear up houses if he thinks there's drug activity there. To be honest, I have a hard time getting worked up over this stuff when we're dealing with that rather frightening fact. I know WLBT played a role in getting Melton elected through its terrible and largely one-sided coverage of the mayoral campaign, but I'd like to move on to the bigger problem of how we can deal with this mayor now and hold him accountable for his activities. I do agree that it sounds like it's down to Peterson and the USDOJ. I think Hood has demonstrated that he has no intention of doing anything that might jeopardize his chances in next year's election campaign, and Melton can't be counted on to self-regulate. We need for him to be indicted by someone outside of the city or state system, and that leaves the county D.A. and the federal government. I do think there might be a federal case made on the basis of multiple civil rights violations, but I'm not familiar enough with the law on this matter to say for sure. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-09-02T12:47:34-06:00
ID
88822
Comment

What are the laws regarding a recall petition?

Author
tombarnes
Date
2006-09-02T12:57:15-06:00
ID
88823
Comment

Tom, I think that our City Council, especially those who are most representative of it, are even more ineffective than Jim Hood. At least Jim Hood wrote him a letter! Half our Council must be too scared to cite law as to why he is unfit to be mayor, and the other half are just Melton apologists. Allowing tactics that are akin to how whites kept blacks in their place in the past. I think it is well established that the TV news stations, especially WLBT, went the extra distance to insure that Melton was portrayed as the only candidate for Jackson mayor before the election. They are largely responsible for why we have reached this point. However, if WLBT feels strongly that this must be further investigated, then let's put down the arms between the two media sides and work to make sure this NEVER HAPPENS IN JACKSON AGAIN. You have to forgive us if the TV stations and the Ledge have given us little reason to think otherwise. Only you can change that fact by actually reporting better and in more detail. In case the N'Jam'ers and his political allies think a little rehab or reshuffling of Melton's priorities will solve this problem, I have two words: Marion Barry!

Author
pikersam
Date
2006-09-02T13:10:23-06:00
ID
88824
Comment

Donna, didn't we get into this a while back and learn that there isn't a municipal recall process? I do think it would help, though, if the City Council were to censure Melton for his activities. It would provide both Hood and Peterson with some political cover, and make it clear that his behavior does not represent the city. That's not a recall, but it would be almost a symbolic recall. Unfortunately, it is not at all clear that this City Council is prepared to stand up for people like Evans Welch and Michael Black. What else is new, huh? Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-09-02T13:10:52-06:00
ID
88825
Comment

Well, if Evans Welch is truly a vulnerable adult, and all indications are that he is, then has he been in the Hinds County Detention Center for a week saying, "I paid the rent". Does he even know why he is there? If someone was selling dope of any description from his home, was he cognizant of this and of consequences? Is incarceration of this man the proper placement for him? Was he represented by an attorney? If his mother is truthful, and she seems to be, she did not know where he was. Was a mental evaluation ordered? I could continue, but you all get my drift........more to follow.........

Author
ChrisCavanaugh
Date
2006-09-02T13:54:50-06:00
ID
88826
Comment

Tom Head, Agreed. Don't believe there is a 'recall' provision as most of us laymen understand it. BUT, there are several other laws I believe that could come into play. I am trusting that Fay Peterson is working overtime this weekend. My guesses, again as a layman, are: Federal Law: Civil Rights Violations; Bill of Rights Violations State Law: The restrictions placed on him by the AG. Violation of his Oath of Office and the State Constitution. I would think our State Criminal Investigation Bureau would be working overtime this weekend also. How about Hate Crimes? County and City: Misuse of City property and funds. Again, impersonating a police officer (FM handcuffed him). Somehow, misusing power of the office he is sworn to uphold. Threats and intimidations. Vulnerable adult intimidation. Contributing to the delinquency of a minor. We need Ray Carter in town to help us make some sense of this..............

Author
ChrisCavanaugh
Date
2006-09-02T14:12:54-06:00
ID
88827
Comment

In case the N'Jam'ers and his political allies think a little rehab or reshuffling of Melton's priorities will solve this problem, I have two words: Marion Barry! A-MEN, brother! I moved to DC from Jackson a few months before the Vista Hotel incident. I remember Barry very well. (He's on the DC City Council now, IINM.) I remember one of my friends in Jackson asked me to apologize to Washingtonians from Mississippians for sending him up there. (Barry is originally from Itta Bena.) Best, Tim

Author
Tim Kynerd
Date
2006-09-02T14:55:05-06:00
ID
88828
Comment

Are there any attorneys out there willing to look into the charges against Evans Welch?? Someone needs to come to his rescue.

Author
JAR
Date
2006-09-02T14:59:02-06:00
ID
88829
Comment

I would also think that if Melton ever kept anyone forcibly in a hotel room without a warrant, there would at least be the possibility of a false arrest charge. Not to mention firearm charges. But I can't see Jim Hood ever wanting to intervene. Remember how he talked out of both sides of his mouth in the earlier conflict between Melton and Peterson--writing Melton a harsh letter on one hand, and giving off a "now You People get along" vibe in the MSM (or at least that's how I interpreted it). He's trying to play to both Melton supporters and Melton critics, and indicting Melton would force him to choose. I don't think he's interested in doing that, politically, but I'd love to be surprised. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-09-02T15:13:40-06:00
ID
88830
Comment

He's trying to play to both Melton supporters and Melton critics, and indicting Melton would force him to choose. -Tom Head You're absolutely right Tom. But if Hood dosen't make a choice of what he is going to do, the effects could means the begining of the end for the AG. Frank's support base is dwindling down to nothing. If Hood is trying to play both ends against the middle, it could leave him S.O.L. At this point I believe that it would be more profitable for him to join forces with Peterson and bring this unorthodoxed idiot to justice. Right now the tide is slowing turning away from Frank. I have talked with some of the people in the neighborhoods that Frank is doing his demolitions and some of them are seeing the mayor for his true colors. Frank has displayed himself as a liar, a fake, and on a mission. The problems is that the mission seems to be one that is giving the thugs all of the rights. When they get into trouble with the law, he goes after them and then turns right around and puts them up at his house. A blogger made a comment earlier that Stkoes has sold out to Frank also. I believe that anyone who wants to run against Stokes in the next election should be taking note of all of the things that are going around Kenneth, make a comparision of the previous mayors, and bring Stokes down from off of his perch.l

Author
rufus
Date
2006-09-02T16:25:22-06:00
ID
88831
Comment

rufus, I agree with you on what Hood should do, but I don't expect him to do it. Like so many white "moderates" in the Mississippi Democratic Party, he seems to be a rational elitist at heart--someone who prides himself on being above the fray and not losing "credibility" by taking a principled stand, at least not unless it's extremely popular. What Hood would probably need before indicting Melton would be good political cover, either via a federal indictment of Melton, or a City Council censure, or polling data that indicates that Melton is no longer popular with the people of Jackson, or direct criticism from the Mississippi governor. I don't expect him to do anything on his own, and I don't expect him to do anything in conjunction with Peterson alone. In other words, I don't expect him to just show up and do his job. I expect him to do the politically expedient thing. I would love to be wrong, but so far he has given me no reason to question my skepticism. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-09-02T16:33:59-06:00
ID
88832
Comment

Insidestory: I'm on my Blackberry so it's hard to cut and paste for a blow-by-blow response, but I'll just say this -- your response betrays exactly the sort of logic that I'm getting at. You're going to *official* sources for *official* responses. But I think the real story you could have gotten is "what did the mayor know about this and when?" From the mayor's responses to the questions you *did* put on the air, it was clear that he knew the details, while claiming "no comment" on his own role, if any. By not following up on air, you end up passing on an opportunity to get him to respond directly to those questions with either more obfuscation or with more specifics, either of which would be telling. Instead, the upshot looks like you softballed it. In other words, you're allowing your assumptions about how those questions would be answered (or similar follow-ups) keep you from asking them in the first place. Why? I'm guessing that you're concerned that you would lose access. (I'm saying "you" meaning WLBT since you haven't disavowed a connection, so I apologize if that's presumptuous. Substitute "WLBT" for "you" if appropriate.) I'm focused on the media portion of this story for two reasons: (1) I have the opportunity here with a willing respondent and (2) because we're not going to solve this problem if the media let the mayor get off with an "official" response. If the news stations don't stay on the mayor until they're satisfied that the public's *right* to an answer has been fulfilled, then they're not taking enough risks on their coverage. It's time for the MSM to start taking those risks along with Donna, Adam, Brian and others who have been more than willing to go toe-to-toe with the mayor on this sort of story.

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2006-09-02T17:09:09-06:00
ID
88833
Comment

We'd be remiss if we didn't point out that when the 99 year old lady was brutally mugged, who happen to teach several high profile city leaders, that they made sure to get in the media and denounce the crime and call for a summit. Now we have the Mayor causing wanton destruction upon a little old lady's rental house (key word RENTAL, how is she to know what her tenant is doing?) at the hands of youths who came off a city owned police vehicle; and we hear nothing. Hmmmm....? Could the Meltonites really think there is a way to spin this that doesn't wreck the publics trust in those who are supposed to protect them? I realize it is a holiday weekend (hope everyone has a good one); but, that doesn't mean we can't get statements from our leaders if the media has called them.

Author
pikersam
Date
2006-09-02T18:33:11-06:00
ID
88834
Comment

Todds- I will add one more thing. Witnesses place Melton at the home. You are not going to get a confession from him no matter how many times you ask...all you can do is ask creative questions. I apprciate your civility...I can't say the same for your co-workers. This willing participant is not so willing anymore. There are many people on this board, including myself, who would like to focus on the issue at hand. Goodbye.

Author
inside story
Date
2006-09-02T18:43:51-06:00
ID
88835
Comment

Fact the areas everyone's calling trouble areas is primaily black... Fact black people are the poorest, most uneducated, and thus most prone to commiting crimes. SocioEconomic and all the crap the "educated" will tell you confirm this. As an African American woman with a college degree, no criminal record, and not a baby's mama, I just want you to know that the way you made this statement is highly insulting to me. If you wish to pass judgment on an entire ethnic group because of some statistics, please include the history behind why the problems are occurring. Would you call all Native Americans alcoholics, assume that every Hispanic you see are illegal immigrants, or expect all people of East Indian descent to own a convenience store? I wouldn't assume that all whites are KKK members because of the actions of a few, so return the favor. Has anyone ever taken a ride over there where they are talking about? It's a freaking war zone. There are streets with houses with no doors and people just sitting on the porches and trash all over the place with broken down cars etc etc. Once again, look at WHY instead of just passing judgment. Don't look down on a man unless you're helping him off the ground. No, I'm not talking about welfare. What's frank a black man trying to do run all the black people out? Could be - who knows? During slavery, there were slaves who earned brownie points from their masters for being snitches, and some slaves were overseers of their own. This could be a modern form.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2006-09-02T19:00:54-06:00
ID
88836
Comment

If I am reading the MS code correctly, Melton could be removed from office. But it is highly unlikely. The problem is two fold, first the crime has to be severe enough to impose at least a one year imprisonment. This should be easy enough considering the nature of the alleged crimes committed. Secondly the actual process that would have to take place would in all likelihood take longer than what Melton still has left to serve (unless of course he entered a guilty plea, but what are the odds of that). Here is the code if anyone wants to read it to see if you get anything different out of it: § 25-5-1. Removals from office. If any public officer, state, district, county or municipal, shall be convicted in any court of this state or any other state or in any federal court of any felony other than manslaughter or any violation of the United States Internal Revenue Code, of corruption in office or peculation therein, or of gambling or dealing in futures with money coming to his hands by virtue of his office, any court of this state, in addition to such other punishment as may be prescribed, shall adjudge the defendant removed from office; and the office of the defendant shall thereby become vacant. If any such officer be found by inquest to be of unsound mind during the term for which he was elected or appointed, or shall be removed from office by the judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction or otherwise lawfully, his office shall thereby be vacated; and in any such case the vacancy shall be filled as provided by law.

Author
Fyrefitr14
Date
2006-09-02T19:11:17-06:00
ID
88837
Comment

If any such officer be found by inquest to be of unsound mind during the term for which he was elected or appointed... I think this is our best bet. :-)

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2006-09-02T19:18:36-06:00
ID
88838
Comment

If any such officer be found by inquest to be of unsound mind during the term for which he was elected or appointed -Fyrefitr14 That shouldn't be too hard to prove. I can think of at least ten issues that Melton has acted in a manner not considered "normal". 1. Refused to sit next to a man at a function because he was an ex-con, but has hired several ex-cons. 2. The Vidal Sullivan issue. 3. The Batman issue. 4. His flip-flop on the King Edward. 5. The infamous document shredding issue. 6. The retention of the three police for beating a youth while he was in handcuffs, but he tried to fire five firemen for telling the truth. 7. The "illegal" house burnings. 8. The vehicle searches during random traffic stops even though he is not a certified law enforcement officer. 9. The boarding of airplanes with weapons. 10. The lie he told about solving crime in his first ninety days.

Author
lance
Date
2006-09-02T19:28:50-06:00
ID
88839
Comment

If any such officer be found by inquest to be of unsound mind during the term for which he was elected or appointed... I think this is our best bet. :-) While I agree with you on this one, I also think it would be hard to prove. At least with the other we have tangible facts to back it up.

Author
Fyrefitr14
Date
2006-09-02T19:30:40-06:00
ID
88840
Comment

I really don't think that it would be that hard to declare Melton mentally incompentent if we went outside the state and found a psychologist that would do an unbiased evaluation. Hopefully someone that has no knowledge of Melton, or the fact that he is the mayor of Jackson.

Author
lance
Date
2006-09-02T19:33:49-06:00
ID
88841
Comment

I really don't think that it would be that hard to declare Melton mentally incompentent if we went outside the state and found a psychologist that would do an unbiased evaluation. Hopefully someone that has no knowledge of Melton, or the fact that he is the mayor of Jackson. I kind of disagree with you on that one. Call him eccentric, arrogant, incapable of running a major city, or just plain stupid if you want, but to declare him mentally incompetant I think would be a stretch. That's usually reserved for people who can't function for themselves unassisted with basic day to day living, i.e. mentally handicapped persons who can't handle their money or cook without burning down the house, things such as these. We have to face the fact that Melton is a successful businessman, and that he managed to get elected in the first place. I just think it would be a stretch, or just wishful thinking!

Author
Fyrefitr14
Date
2006-09-02T19:49:03-06:00
ID
88842
Comment

Thank you, Margaret!! We need to know someone is caring.

Author
ChrisCavanaugh
Date
2006-09-02T22:19:49-06:00
ID
88843
Comment

Yeah, can we put the 'we were here first' pissing match on the troll board? There is much more relevant and important conversation occuring here.

Author
dvc
Date
2006-09-02T23:03:17-06:00
ID
88844
Comment

All hail on of the best and now the bravest leader in Jackson - Councilwoman Margaret Barrett-Simon. She is saying the things that need to be said so far: "It truly is horrifying. We have a crime problem in this city, but you don't combat crime with lawlessness," said Ward 7 Councilwoman Margaret Barrett-Simon. The councilwoman said policing Jackson should be left up to J.P.D. She said the city can't afford behavior like this. "I am looking very seriously at what the next step is," said Barrett-Simon. "I feel that there will certainly be a full investigation by the city council. I will push for that." What is really sick is how Melton is responding: Outside his Jackson home the mayor was asked it he felt sorry for the destruction of Evans Welch's homes. "No," said Melton. "Not if they are selling drugs out of it. And if we find some more people who are selling drugs out of their house there is no telling what will happen." emphasis mine Then there is this: The Welch's said their son called them last Saturday and made a startling accusation. "He said Mr. Frank hit me with a hammer and tore the house up," said Ms. Welch. Melton denies this part; but, how can we believe him given that the whole evening was one big joy ride of destruction and beatings, (upper level), at the hands of what NJam'ers call "thugs" and possibly a russian man who may be a deputy with the sheriff's department. This is utterly sick! I hope the rest of the Council joins the councilwoman to see that a full investigation is began and that the proper authorities will be contacted with the State and the Federal law enforcement agencies.

Author
pikersam
Date
2006-09-03T00:25:01-06:00
ID
88845
Comment

Well, the Ledge finally got the story out. Front page. No mention of Welch's disability. Melton's "I never had a sledgehammer in my hands!" remark is strangely reminiscent of "I didn't inhale". Orley seems to be writing about Melton's mental health in a non-humorous way. No editorials regarding this. No explaination as to why they didn't respond last week as I understand they were contacted. I can hear the breakfast conversations now: "Can you BELIEVE he did this?" "Well, it says it right here and I caught something about it on TV the other night." " Oh, yeah, Kim Wade said something right at the last of his show." "Well, what do you expect? Its just Jackson!"

Author
ChrisCavanaugh
Date
2006-09-03T06:50:11-06:00
ID
88846
Comment

Here's the link to the article: Residents: Melton helped wreck house. On the subject of recall and other potential laws broken: - imitating a police officer - kidnapping (if some bold parent wasn't scared to call Melton on taking their child and using them as a marketing tool)

Author
kaust
Date
2006-09-03T07:47:51-06:00
ID
88847
Comment

This may sound like a stupid question but has the owner finally filed charges? If this did happen, it's at least vandalism and potentially more... The mayor is at least an accessory to the crime if not the ringleader/organizer. This makes me sick.

Author
kaust
Date
2006-09-03T07:54:34-06:00
ID
88848
Comment

This may sound like a stupid question but has the owner finally filed charges? -Knol Aust That is a VERY intelligible question. I hate to repeat rumors, but some people are saying that Melton rode to the hospital with the manager from the Upper Level to try and dissuade him from filing charges. Given Melton's past I am leaning toward the belief that he is not beyond using methods of persuassion to keep people from going after him. I am proud of Councilwoman Barrett-Simon for standing up. Where is Stokes? Is he hiding out at Melton's Mansion for the Undesirables also? This is HIS ward. Why is he so quiet now? This inaction makes him a poor excuse for a ward representative and a poor excuse for a human being. His inate fear of Melton is allowing the mayor to run rampant over the people of this neighborhood. Frank Melton is out of control and must be stopped. This tirade of his is nothing short of comparision to Saddam Hussien or any other terrorist. What if someone gets hurt physically............OOPS I forgot, someone already has (the Upper Level incident). No one condones crime. We just don't want to see crime solved with more crime.

Author
lance
Date
2006-09-03T08:40:56-06:00
ID
88849
Comment

This tirade of his is nothing short of comparision to Saddam Hussien or any other terrorist. Well, Melton hasn't killed anyone. Yet. That we know of. *sigh* Best, Tim

Author
Tim Kynerd
Date
2006-09-03T08:51:39-06:00
ID
88850
Comment

Here's the money quote from today's C-L article posted by knol: Melton acknowledges he was at the house on Ridgeway Street in Virden Addition but was reluctant Saturday to talk about his actions while there. He initially said he had no comment when asked about specific allegations . But when pressed, Melton said, "I never had a sledgehammer in my hand." For example: You know when a drive-by shooting happens the driver usually doesn't have the gun! And, someone probably called for the shooting higher up then the shooter. Are they not as guilty as the shooter if it is a premeditated crime? Safe-City what is your take? Knol, any public official that tries to explain this away makes me sick! And this just makes it worst: Several neighbors said that sometime between 9-10 p.m. on Aug. 26, the Jackson Police Department's Mobile Command Unit pulled up in front of the duplex. Melton got out with a sledgehammer, they said, and he began directing youths accompanying him to destroy the house. "The mayor was out there with his gun on his side, telling the kids what to do," said Crystal Gaines, 42. She said she was in the area visiting her mother when she saw Melton with the youths. "I saw kids out there tearing it up." Melvin Jackson, who lives down the street, said he, too, saw a group of young men wrecking the unit and Melton was standing out front. Jackson said he was inside his house when he heard glass shattering, and he walked outside to see what was happening. Jackson said he then went back into his house. Neighbors said Melton and the youths were at the building twice that night. That is some youth mentor we got here! He connects so well with the younger people! He's clearly the type of man that can relate to these inner city children and give them a shinning example of how to be a man! What a bunch of crap!

Author
pikersam
Date
2006-09-03T08:51:40-06:00
ID
88851
Comment

Hmmm....you meant Kenneth Stokes who once owned two properties in the late 80's that were determined to be crack houses and he didn't kow that they were dealing drugs out of them? connect the dots.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-09-03T09:42:05-06:00
ID
88852
Comment

Yeah. I don't think Stokes is afraid of Melton; I just think he's a completely soulless politician who doesn't really give a damn about his constituents, or racism for that matter, and that this just happens to be the first time he's been in a situation where that has become clear. I know some of y'all like Stokes, so I hope I'm wrong. But what other explanation could there be for his refusal to stand up to Melton? Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-09-03T09:49:28-06:00
ID
88853
Comment

OK...y'all don't want me to harp on this, but...kudos to the C-L for *pressing* the mayor after his denials. Follow-up questioning got the money quote: --- But when pressed, Melton said, "I never had a sledgehammer in my hand." --- Just sayin'. I'm off my soapbox now. Meanwhile, I haven't seen anyone discuss the charges that Welch is being held under...don't those charges (paraphernalia, possession, 'open container'??) seem a little light for a drug dealing kingpin? And, some legal mind out there -- has he been in court? why is he serving time? Why haven't his parents been able to contact him, arrange bail, etc?

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2006-09-03T10:43:48-06:00
ID
88854
Comment

yes there are reasons Tom but not the kind that you will put in writing in a public forum.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-09-03T12:23:06-06:00
ID
88855
Comment

Well, I'm just guessing but: Traffic Violation. Probably would not move as he was in shock at what was happening to his home. Or maybe he didn't yeild for the Mobile Command Unit to park. Open Container. Could have been beer. Might have been sitting on his blue sofa drinking beer, watching TV, when the house was attacked then wandered to the street in dismay. Paraphernalia. Could be anything. Possessing Marijuana. More than an ounce? As mentioned earlier, how did they find room at the Hinds County Detention Center if none of the above are more than a misdemeanor? I though there was never space for non-violent offenders. Also, the C-L did not discuss at all the mental disability of Evans Welch. Now, as to the "...never had a sledgehammer in my hands" Melton, perhaps he was using the 'Flintstone-like Club' mentioned in the fracus at the Upper Level the same night. I'm just trusting that some gracious attorney type has gone to Raymond and interviewed and offered to represent Evans Welch. By the way, who lived on the other side of the duplex Is it still livable? Are the utilities still on? Trivial points but just curious.

Author
ChrisCavanaugh
Date
2006-09-03T12:44:03-06:00
ID
88856
Comment

I have a family member who knows Evans Welch and his parents. Remember now that Welch is mentally disabled. From what I understand, Evans doesn't own a car and hasn't had a driver's license for years. So what's the deal about him being charged with a traffic violation and open container?? Is this just a trumped up charge? Did Melton simply not realize when Welch was arrested that the man doesn't drive? If the traffic violation charge is indeed false, could the marajuana and paraphernalia charges be false as well? Were the charges used as an excuse to get the poor guy locked up, so that he couldn't tell the truth about what happened to him last Sat night? Remember, when he called his mother from jail, he thought he was being arrested because police didn't believe that he'd paid his rent.

Author
JAR
Date
2006-09-03T12:49:01-06:00
ID
88857
Comment

Did Melton simply not realize when Welch was arrested that the man doesn't drive? That's no excuse. If you want to charge somebody with something, even something as seemingly trivial as a traffic violation, you'd better be damned sure they actually did it. "Oops, I did it again" won't do. If the traffic violation charge is indeed false, could the marajuana and paraphernalia charges be false as well? Were the charges used as an excuse to get the poor guy locked up, so that he couldn't tell the truth about what happened to him last Sat night? Hmm, ya think? :-P

Author
Tim Kynerd
Date
2006-09-03T13:42:36-06:00
ID
88858
Comment

Pikersam quotes: "Several neighbors said that sometime between 9-10 p.m. on Aug. 26, the Jackson Police Department's Mobile Command Unit pulled up in front of the duplex. Melton got out with a sledgehammer, they said, and he began directing youths accompanying him to destroy the house. Melvin Jackson, who lives down the street, said he, too, saw a group of young men wrecking the unit and Melton was standing out front. Jackson said he was inside his house when he heard glass shattering, and he walked outside to see what was happening. Jackson said he then went back into his house." I wonder if any of the neighbors thought to video record Melton's antics? This is something the average citizen could easily do. He/she could gather as much incriminating evidence against the man as possible. Anonymous citizens could simply trail (at a reasonable distance of course) the mobile command center around Jackson, and privately video record, as evidence, Melton's illegal antics and tirades. Once recorded, copies could be sent to various media outlets, the AG's office, the DA's office, city council's office etc. As the old saying goes, a picture's worth a thousand words. When citizens band together, ANYTHING'S possible, but if all we do is talk and complain, nothing will be done to slow this man down. It takes ACTION.

Author
Joerob
Date
2006-09-03T14:27:22-06:00
ID
88859
Comment

Sounds nice in theory. here come the stalking and harrassment and obstruction of justice charges. Now playing devils advocte here, suppose they were meeting undercover agents for example, want that on video? want that put out there. These tactics if done as you suggested would be borderline harrassment etc and it would simply give Melton a scapegoat to use. What is not happening is no one files charges on him. Why hasn't the nightclub owner done so? Why hasn't this tenant or landlord done so? We can report it all day but if no one sues or files charges, that undercuts the criticism of Melton. What needs to happen is what you initially suggested. When he pulls this crap, someone needs to run the camera. However, what happened last week at that night club was a warning. Shoot pictures and I will have you arrested and beaten. Go ahead and sue me, it will be my word against yours and I've already destroyed your evidence.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-09-03T14:40:14-06:00
ID
88860
Comment

"By the way, who lived on the other side of the duplex Is it still livable? Are the utilities still on? Trivial points but just curious." - ChrisC Chris, from the pic on the C-L's site, it looks like the other half is not occupied. Either that or Entergy came and snatched the meter.

Author
kaust
Date
2006-09-03T15:14:33-06:00
ID
88861
Comment

Kingfish says, "Shoot pictures and I will have you arrested and beaten. Go ahead and sue me, it will be my word against yours and I've already destroyed your evidence." First of all, there's no crime in video recording a PUBLIC incident. Remember the "Rodney King" incident? Secondly, one must be discrete and inconspicuous enough NOT to get caught. When fighting against injustices done anywhere, there's always some risk involved, especially when it involves elected officials. The question to ask oneself is, does the risks outweigh the result? FEAR, I repeat FEAR of repercussion has prevented many average citizens from helping to make Jackson a better place. Regarding the undercover statement, last I recall, Melton's NOT a law enforcement official, so your theory's a moot point.

Author
Joerob
Date
2006-09-03T15:26:36-06:00
ID
88862
Comment

Does anyone think the mayor or his gang of Bull Connor dogs will face criminal charges? If you or I'd intentionally destroyed private property, we'd be in jail today.

Author
Brent Cox
Date
2006-09-03T15:42:17-06:00
ID
88863
Comment

Does anyone see the irony of the Crime Summit on Thursday knowing this had happened? Joerob, yes it is FEAR. It was FEAR when the KKK was doing it and it is FEAR now. They have the guns. I surely wouldn't follow them, but we pay several branches of Law Enforcement to be following him and I hope some are doing so. Fear and intimidation are the tools of the bully, the dictator, and the abuser. Brent, you are absolutely right. We would be waiting that 751 days for a trial!

Author
ChrisCavanaugh
Date
2006-09-03T16:06:43-06:00
ID
88864
Comment

Melton stated that they removed children from the house. What children? Where are they? Did children live with Evans Welch? When was this sentance of 120 days pronounced on Evans Welch? Did he have an attorney? What was told the Judge and who was the Judge? Who appeared for the JPD? Were there any other witnesses against Mr. Welch?

Author
ChrisCavanaugh
Date
2006-09-03T16:12:18-06:00
ID
88865
Comment

Joerob, do you bother to read every word I write? I didn't say Melton was a cop. It wouldn't matter. He usually has police with him anyway, his bodyguards, and it would matter WHO he was meeting with. He claims he is meeting undercover people, something within his authority, then he will trot out the obstruction of justice charge or something similar.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-09-03T16:41:01-06:00
ID
88866
Comment

I agree. I have many questions, too. Adam and Brian will have a longer, more complete story in the print edition (link added), so keep the questions coming! (And, uh, we know that the other media are watching this site for updates. Sorry I called y'all "schucks," insidestory. Allow me to amend it to say that not giving credit where it's due (or, say, only covering a story because other media are on it) is "schucky" behavior. Worse, that kind of past media coverage by the MSM has not helped this city and is in no smart part responsible for the mess we're in now. The media could have been straightforward about Melton's crazy antics during the campaign, while at MBN, etc. But, do through the archives and what do you see: Media coverage slamming Chief Moore, for instance, for being upset that Melton was, uh, "bringing in" so-called Wood STreet Players without dealing with the JPD. And now we see where that got us? With bad evidence that got through out of court. So, suffice it to say that we will keep talking about community journalism, and when it's good and when it's not, until the cows come home. We will also continue discussing our mayor and other public servants inside out, as we have done since this paper launched. We are perfectly capable of holding more than one thought, and having more than one converation, at a time. As for this instance, it is breathtaking. Mr. Melton must be stopped. Every incident is worst than the last. Pause a moment and just imagine where that can take us if we do not do something about a man who does not believe the law applies to him. ANY public official at this point who does not step up and speak out against what is happening in our city right now should be held responsible at election time. I don't care what party they are, or anything else. This is an utter outrage.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-03T17:53:13-06:00
ID
88867
Comment

I meant, "schmucky." Sorry. ;-)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-03T17:53:45-06:00
ID
88868
Comment

BTW, they're saying on the Ledge forum that thousands of fans booed Melton at the JSU game. Who was there? Witnesses? Report?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-03T17:54:24-06:00
ID
88869
Comment

Ladd, the MSM would never show up at the past mayor's brown bag lunches where he was available to answer questions about Jackson. Where information about good projects and updates on crime were discussed. Remember all the cranes downtown. Sadly, very few press people ever came. Does Melton even hold these type of informal meeting to chat with the press? Then the Ledge decided to ignore numerous stories they wrote in the mid 90's that detailed a very troubled past for Melton and Blunston. The MBN/Clarion Ledger suit is clear evidence that the paper had any interest in covering the positive things going on in Jackson, including the lowering of crime as a steady pace, less it portray the past mayor in a positive light in an election year. Marshall Ramsey didn't really pay too much attention to the facts either! We can only "what if" had Johnson been Mayor during Katrina; but, rest assured he would have fared better afterwards with the new development opportunities that are springing up due to GOZone legislation.

Author
pikersam
Date
2006-09-03T18:13:40-06:00
ID
88870
Comment

Agreed, Pike. It was remarkable that Mr. Bluntson's problems around the Juvenile Detention Center never. came. up. in the mainstream media during his campaign. In a way, that's more startling than the fact that they left out so much about Mr. Melton. Well, I see that at least the Ledge forum posters gave Adam credit for breaking this story -- and the paper hell for not getting to it until today: http://208.137.136.144/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?t=4403 Wacky stuff. BTW, I want to personally congratulate Adam on an excellent job getting this story done and up before the weekend. You can see why the other media keep trying to steal him away, eh? (Not to mention follow this stories.)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-03T18:21:28-06:00
ID
88871
Comment

Adam's doing his good work. Just have to wonder if our law and legal system will work as hard on this?

Author
pikersam
Date
2006-09-03T18:24:41-06:00
ID
88872
Comment

BTW, "they're saying on the Ledge forum that thousands of fans booed Melton at the JSU game. Who was there? Witnesses? Report?" The stadium announcer asked the fans to "give the honorable Frank Melton a round of applause." Several boos immediately rang out in the crowd and drowned out the few hand claps. It was hilarious. After the announcement was made, some fans began leaving the stadium. This made it even more evident that people are simply tired of this man.

Author
Joerob
Date
2006-09-03T18:25:53-06:00
ID
88873
Comment

Also, before I fly back into a world with no blogging, I want to reiterate what Todd said earlier about the problem with "access journalism." In a situation like this, when someone is clearly stonewalling, you keep asking the same question in different ways (which, to the Ledge's credit, it seems like they did in order to get the excellent "sledgehammer" non-answer). You don't grab your official response and take off. A good reporter doesn't go to the official source until they have done enough homework to know what to ask, and then they ask and keep asking when it's a situation like this where the source has an interest in lying or not commenting. You don't ask yes or no questions; you ask open-ended questions. The fear of losing access is one of the most serious illnesses affecting media today. What you do is go such good journalism that they have to talk to you even if it takes them a while. Melton avoided talking to us for 14 months; then look at what we got when he decided he had to. Meantime, our paper did the most substantive work int he city (OK, the bar was low, but still) on Mr. Melton and his administration. Adam Lynch was on the Fire Department story for nearly a friggin' year before the mainstream picked it up (and tried to take credit for it). We got the crime stats after months and months, and then suddenly all the others "had obtained" them. Hell yeah, I want my hard-working-busting-their-asses staff to get credit where it's due. But I also want to push the MSM to do the real legwork on their own and get these stories that are so important to our community and not be afraid to do them because Mr. Melton used to be one of them. I want to challenge their news judgment, especially if it says that a mayor who does these terrible things in a poor, black community doesn't matter so much. Just imagine what might have happened (or not happened) had Adam not responded like a good reporter should when Brian and I asked him last weekend, "So, how did Mr. Melton cut his hand?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-03T18:35:11-06:00
ID
88874
Comment

Wow, Joerob. Melton won't be happy about that at all. He lives for adoring fans.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-03T18:35:54-06:00
ID
88875
Comment

That's good to hear, Joerob, as it suggest the Meltonites aren't as numerous as they were a year ago. Maybe people really are finally waking up to this man and what he represents. We really need the City Council, the Sheriff and the D.A. to come together to work on a way to get rid of Mayor Scarface.

Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2006-09-03T18:45:05-06:00
ID
88876
Comment

Frank is going to need some hugs.

Author
JLYerg
Date
2006-09-03T18:47:26-06:00
ID
88877
Comment

Frank is going to need some hugs. If the D.A. and the Sheriff do their civic duty, he should look forward to getting hugs from inmates.

Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2006-09-03T18:54:28-06:00
ID
88878
Comment

There are many fine outstanding JPD officers. Problem is their hands are tied. The politics and red tape is unreal. Jackson is already bankrupt. Failing policies, junk patrol cars, no raises, high health insurance, employees taking a free ride, no leadership, cell phone abuse, When will it ever stop?

Author
truthful
Date
2006-09-03T18:58:17-06:00
ID
88879
Comment

Sure won't under Frankie's watch. As to JPD, Leaders take charge, not wait for someone to start issuing orders.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2006-09-03T19:19:38-06:00
ID
88880
Comment

Then the Ledge decided to ignore numerous stories they wrote in the mid 90's that detailed a very troubled past for Melton and Blunston. That part still amazes me. Why would Ward 4 put this man in office given his history? Maybe there wasn't enough coverage in the ms media for them to make an informed decision, or the other guy was just so useless that it was a vote against him more than it was a vote for Bluntson. Either way, it is sickening to see someone who is so clearly a mouthpiece for Melton on the council, as it is diluting their strength in opposing him.

Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2006-09-03T19:25:42-06:00
ID
88881
Comment

I can't stand it anymore. I read these posts occasionally but I've never seen Ladd in this form. Have you lost your mind? The "schmucks" at WLBT, and the media "trying to take credit for" a story that one of your reporters happened to have too? Do you think if any story appears on two media outlets, it automatically means one stole it from the other and they should give credit? I see stories repeated all the time. Sometimes credit should be given. But you sound paranoid and childish. Almost like Frank Melton.

Author
copper thief
Date
2006-09-03T20:03:49-06:00
ID
88882
Comment

OK.......Enough is enough. This incident and many others apparently involving our mayor are way too important. If someone wants to start a thread on how to ask questions, who and when the press should question, who gets credit, etc. I am certain it would be of great interest to many. BUT, this thread is related to the article above and the possibly criminal behavior of someone in authority. We can all openly wonder why our state's largest and most powerful printed media has given some of our current government a pass. That is certainly relivant to why the City of Jackson finds itself in this position. One of the main functions of a free press is to hold elected officials accountable for their behavior and how public funds are spent. The Jackson Free Press has been a small but powerful beacon for the last 18 plus months in trying to inform the public. The main questions now, at least as I see it, are WHERE do we go from here? WHAT actually occurred last weekend? WHICH of our public officials and which law enforcement will finally make a positive step toward preventing this type of behavior continuance? WHAT is the law and WHO is going to tell us, the public, the WHOLE story and its probable consequences?

Author
ChrisCavanaugh
Date
2006-09-03T21:12:24-06:00
ID
88883
Comment

Just saw the WAPT report. If Melton is not arrested then it will be a great travesty for our community. Melton toned down his answers, and said "no comment" when pressed further. Didn't threaten to tear down any other houses where people use or sell drugs. Must be getting some counsel? However, he did say he wouldn't pay to have the house repaired. That's OK Melton, the taxpayers will be footing this bill - freaking dumba$$. Not that it would matter anyway if he did. No way you slice this, can you justify not having Melton charged and arrested. That is if our politicians are willing to uphold the oath they take to serve in office. Coupled with the Upper Level beatings, and their existing restraining order which he violated (in an overblown, violent display, to add) Melton's time has got to end. There are far better people who can lead Jackson without making a mockery of the current motto "Grace and Benevolence." By wanting him to stop; and, be held accountable, like Joe citizen, doesn't mean you endorse crime or are blind to the inner city problems. It means you recognize a big problem that could eventually lead to further, more damaging or fatal, behavior that goes against everything we elect our representatives for in America! Two wrongs don't make a right!

Author
pikersam
Date
2006-09-03T22:34:24-06:00
ID
88884
Comment

I would think the only people who care about Jackson left ages ago.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2006-09-03T22:55:35-06:00
ID
88885
Comment

Most have. Fact- most of the abandoned building down town the city of Jackson own. Their tax base is leaving for Hinds , Madison and Rankin county.

Author
truthful
Date
2006-09-03T23:51:37-06:00
ID
88886
Comment

There may be a sad truth in your statement, but I believe that Jackson's downtown has a bright future in the offing. Leadership and vision of the sort held by David Watkins and others can- and will- bring the city back to its rightful place as the center of commerce for the state and the region. Mr. Melton, I am afraid, is a liability at this point. Something must be done before he causes any more damage to the city.

Author
tombarnes
Date
2006-09-04T01:22:26-06:00
ID
88887
Comment

Who cares about Frank Melton... other than criminal/civil prosecution? PLEASE focus your attention on EVANS WELCH! Is He OK?? Was he in fact beaten up by Melton's thugs? Was he in fact brought up on trumped up charges that seem to change daily? WJTV most recently reported (THE WORST REPORTING IN THE METRO) that he was charged with contempt of court. What on earth is that about?? For contempt of reentering his home after MR. Melton-the sledgehammer-man' had ordered him not to???

Author
JAR
Date
2006-09-04T03:09:54-06:00
ID
88888
Comment

I would think the only people who care about Jackson left ages ago. I'm trying to come back, not only because my best friends are there, but also because I care about Jackson. Best, Tim

Author
Tim Kynerd
Date
2006-09-04T07:59:56-06:00
ID
88889
Comment

It's my understanding that Melton had NO search warrant to enter the man's home. The boys with him were trespassing and destroying private property, which is a crime. They need to be held accountable as well. Where are the parents of these boys? It's also my understanding that Mr. Welch is being held WITHOUT bond due to alleged traffic violations, alleged drug paraphenalia and alleged marijuana possession. Some of the named violations may have occurred in 2005. Since when has someone been held without bond for such "trivial" charges? This case would be better served in Federal Court for violation of Mr. Welch's 4th and 8th amendment rights. I'm sure some of you could come up with other rights' violations. The 4th states: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." The 8th states that: Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted. Federal court also allows the case to be tried before an impartial entity, being that Melton doesn't have any influence as he does with the municipal court and the State AG's office. This is what happened with the Babe's night club trial for illegal raids. Melton lost that case in federal court. Since then, neither he, nor his "goons" has touched Babe's. Federal court seems to be the only court he respects.

Author
Joerob
Date
2006-09-04T08:32:22-06:00
ID
88890
Comment

Today's C-L includes a comment from the *esteemed* Meltoneer from Ward 4 regarding the Mayor's terrorist attack: Councilman Frank Bluntson of Ward 4, who is council vice president, said he would support whatever Ward 3 Councilman Kenneth Stokes wants. Stokes represents the area where the duplex is. He could not be reached Sunday night. "This might not be the correct thing to do or the right thing to do," Bluntson said about the alleged actions. "But people are sick and tired of drugs." If it were possible to recall Melton for his behavior, this guy should be recalled for not having a spine.

Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2006-09-04T09:16:13-06:00
ID
88891
Comment

You know, I think I'll try Bluntson's explanation whenever I do anything that gets me into trouble: "Well, gosh, I'm really sorry for flirting with your fiancee. That might not have been the correct thing to do or the right thing to do, but people are sick and tired of drugs." Thanks, Mr. Bluntson! Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-09-04T10:27:49-06:00
ID
88892
Comment

Joerob, the reason Melton supports federal court is probably because it's the only one that would prosecute him successfully. He has poisoned the well as far as Peterson is concerned by targeting her for "corruption" accusations early on--a very smart move, politically--virtually assuring that if she prosecutes him, the MSM will treat it patronizingly as if it were the east coast-west coast rap war (just as they did when she rightly accused him of due process violations way back), and someone like Wilson Carroll will wind up as county district attorney. And Hood, who is partly responsible for putting Peterson in such a precarious position to begin with, is almost certainly not going to prosecute Melton because he has bright long-term political plans that involve not offending white suburbanites. The feds are the only people still in a position to actually do their jobs, so it's no wonder that Melton honors their decisions. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-09-04T10:35:56-06:00
ID
88893
Comment

Hard to believe that currently the WLBT online poll has 37% saying Frank did not go too far in wrecking the house, and 31% are not sure. Property rights? Bah Humbug !

Author
JLYerg
Date
2006-09-04T11:05:13-06:00
ID
88894
Comment

He may not have a spine, ejeff, but he's got fingers.... ewwww..... just ask the youths at the detention center back in '93 about that. A story that the MSM figured was best left in the past come election time. I'm sorry, if you are in charge of the youth detention center when wide ranging allegations of rape and favors for inmates - mostly girls - occurs; and, then you are shuffled into another position BY THE DA at the time (who is a big Meltonite now), it is news worthy when discussing the qualifications of whether he is fit for office or good for the community. It, at a bare minimum, shows you are not fit to manage a business. Of course Blunston's take on the destroyed house is only a little worst than that of Councilman Allen, who is taking the "move along... nothing to see here.... approach. Council President Ben Allen would not use the word "investigation," but said "we're going to look into it. Where that goes, I don't know." Allen pointed out that, as far as he knew, no charges had been filed or affidavits signed by individual making the allegations. Trust us guys, we wouldn't expect you to be the ones to actually try and have charges pressed or even assist the lady who owned the home in her quest for justice. Both are sounding as if somehow the action taken by the mayor could be legal or justified. "This might not be the correct thing to do or the right thing to do," Bluntson said about the alleged actions. "But people are sick and tired of drugs." We may be sick of drugs; but, you can't break the law, like this, to make things better. Have y'all read the oath you take when you were elected? What about the charges levied against Mr. Welch according to the paper? Resident Evans Welch was arrested that night and charged with violating traffic ordinances, having an open container, possessing drug paraphernalia and possessing marijuana, though some of those charges are from 2005, according to police records. He was being held in the Hinds County Detention Center on Sunday without bond. Heck, I think we all got a friend or two here in Eastover who has had an open container, possession charge at some time. You've got to smoke it in something, so its safe to say that they had paraphernalia too. And your kids will be kids! So, Melton called WLBT after 9pm to say he cut his hand, and now he says: But on Sunday, he said he injured his hands while cleaning glass out of a window in the duplex just after midnight. I thought he was having that guy in handcuffs beat-up at the upper level after midnight.? Either way, WHY WAS HE CLEANING GLASS OUT OF A WINDOW IF HE DIDN'T PARTICIPATE IN DESTROYING THE HOUSE. What part of "participation" are we going to overlook here? Should we define what "is" is? "It's a damn shame what they did to that house over there," Melton said Sunday night. Then he snickered. Really, really sad....

Author
pikersam
Date
2006-09-04T11:09:27-06:00
ID
88895
Comment

JL Yerg, at far as the on-lin epolls go. Just delete your cookies and re-vote or just email all your friends. That what the Meltonites do when they are bored. Look at WAPT's "right direction" poll with 69% supporting Melton. That was before the news Friday. I think the JSU game, where they booed him, may be more indicative of Jackson's assessment of Melton.

Author
pikersam
Date
2006-09-04T11:13:40-06:00
ID
88896
Comment

Allen does make a good point. If no one is pressing charges, filing suits, having press conferences etc that is actually injured by Melton/City's actions, then what can anyone else really do. All Melton has to say is prove it, these are low life drug dealers who don't like it I'm doing something about it, the media wants a headline etc. People who are victims of this crap have to stand up, prosecute, and get their side out. Sutton can beaotch and moan all she wants but if she doesn't file charges or sue Melton and his boyz, then it weakens her case tremendously. Someone will say, well, she should have been keeping up with the dopeheads living in her house. Other than a few posts on here and CL forums, how do we know this guy is mentally disabled? No affadavits, no court testimony, no lawsuits, no press conferfences etc. Maybe this will come out in time and I am sure the posters were telling the truth and he is mentally disabled however if a tree falls in the woods is it noise if no one hears it?

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-09-04T12:18:05-06:00
ID
88897
Comment

It seems pretty clear that Melton has paid workers (probably on the CITY payroll) that are jamming the online polls and doing the other dirty work for our "non-politician" Frank Melton. Perhaps the DA or FBI ought to be conduct its own investigations of whether or not public funds are being illegally spent on this effort. It shouldn't be too hard to look at the content of the staff computers to see where their users have been recently. As for media responsibility and ethics, it is really a disservice for the papers and the television stations to conduct these admittedly non-scientific polls and them publish the results, knowing that it will skew accurate public opinion. There should be a little bit more journalistic judgement and discretion excercised when it becomes clear that the polling data is tainted. Come on guys! As for the mayor's antics, the media sources ought to start publishing a list EVERY day of the cumulative list of his gaffes. We (the public) are generally forgiving folks and tend to forget things. There is a media responsibility here to demonstrate the cumulative affect of F's actions on this City. Like most folks, I'm kind of busy just trying to make ends meet and live my own life peacefully. But, I would welcome a daily column with a chronological listing of the lies and other inappropriate behaviors of the Mayor. "F the Mayor" does seem a little appropriate at this point, except that it seems to be the Citizens of Jackson that are being "F'd" right now. WHERE IS OUR ATTORNEY GENERAL WHEN WE NEED HIM? WHERE'S THE DA? WHERE'S THE U.S. ATTORNEY? HELP, CAN'T YOU GUYS SEE WHERE IN TROUBLE HERE IN GOTHAM CITY?

Author
FriendsofJackson
Date
2006-09-04T12:24:39-06:00
ID
88898
Comment

Friends, you make some good points. However, no one takes those call in polls seriously as they are always skewed. I do wish the DA would quit griping about him and start doing something. Either Melton is breaking the law or raises enough suspicion to the point she should investigate and prosecute or not. Instead I read these comments from her how he can't do this or that and I wonder, ok, you are the prosecutor, you do have some jurisdiction here. do something then. Yes, I'm being a little tough but a few harsh words are nothing compared to getting your house destroyed or held with out bond for minor charges.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-09-04T12:32:10-06:00
ID
88899
Comment

Kingfish in these neighborhoods the citizens may be flat out scared to speak out against Melton. Don't you wonder why Mr. Moore (Upper Level) has been so quiet? Thankfully, a few have spoken out at their own expense knowing Melton may retaliate. High profile atty's are hired. However, this is where your local politicians are supposed to step in and make sure the victims can press charges, etc. when the mayor is out of control/line. Also, do you think an officer with JPD is going to arrest the mayor at the Chief's direction, please....? This will take more then our local law enforcement to prosecute this. There are too many variables and chapters to last Sat. night - from the 2 trips to W Ridgeway, the cut hand running after a drug dealer (no wait...he was clearing glass... no ...ummm???), and the Upper Level to just "snicker" this off. If our local leaders just let this die because the victim has some marijuana, labeling him some big drug dealer/drug den, and the lady decides to just sue the city and not press charges; then they have failed as leaders. This is only another example, among many, of Melton being bad for Jackson, much less himself and the children he claims to mentor. If you get in a car wreck and don't exchange insurance info. or file a police report did a wreck not occur?

Author
pikersam
Date
2006-09-04T12:57:07-06:00
ID
88900
Comment

am not disagreeing you but am explaining why perhaprs nothing is done or there is not the outrage you would think would take place. Most of these people Melton is messing with don't have the smarts or resources to fight back. He started bad mouthing the associates of Deuce in that project and then shut up. They are the kind that kind fight back. He's a bully. It is also a very good question why that nightclub has done nothing. Also, some city leaders may be hesitant to do anything because it will not be frank but the city that will be liable and they will have to pay with city funds, not franks.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-09-04T13:06:11-06:00
ID
88901
Comment

Good points Kingfish. However, Barbara Blackmon is a good start (like her or not). Yet, the lawsuits are just another reason the City Council should push to have him charged as Frank Melton. If he is derelict of his duties, and conducting City business outside his capacity as mayor it seems they could ask that he be arrested and charged as such. Put on him and not the backs of the tax payer!

Author
pikersam
Date
2006-09-04T13:30:30-06:00
ID
88902
Comment

"Yet, the lawsuits are just another reason the City Council should push to have him charged as Frank Melton." Sounds like the MBN court case all over again. In that particular case, Frank Melton, the person, was being sued, not MBN. This sounds like a similar scenario. Frank Melton should be sued, NOT the city of Jackson.

Author
Joerob
Date
2006-09-04T14:10:38-06:00
ID
88903
Comment

Like it or not Joerob, the city shares liability. Melton was acting as the mayor, and he rolled up in the Mobile Command Center. I don't think the city can avoid involvement in any law suit that might result. The same goes for the Upper Level incident.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2006-09-04T14:18:17-06:00
ID
88904
Comment

I meant put most of the burden on him, not the taxpayer. We certainly deserve some representation in this matter. We will pay; but, at least our other leaders should fight for us to not have to pay as much, and put the blame where it belongs.

Author
pikersam
Date
2006-09-04T14:49:17-06:00
ID
88905
Comment

Melton was acting as the mayor, and he rolled up in the Mobile Command Center. I dunno. I don't claim to be a lawyer (Ray, where are you?), but even if he was acting under color of his authority as mayor, I don't think that automatically means he can be deemed to have been acting on behalf of the city in such a way that the city becomes liable. I sure hope not, anyway. Best, Tim

Author
Tim Kynerd
Date
2006-09-04T14:58:38-06:00
ID
88906
Comment

damn. its always about color.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-09-04T15:22:51-06:00
ID
88907
Comment

I just saw on WJTV that Evan Welch's mother will be interviewed on their 6 P.M. report. Great! Maybe WJTV is finally going to give this story some proper coverage.

Author
JAR
Date
2006-09-04T17:13:05-06:00
ID
88908
Comment

damn. its always about color. :-P

Author
Tim Kynerd
Date
2006-09-04T17:41:51-06:00
ID
88909
Comment

I watched Evans Welch's mother being interviewed at 6 P.M. on WJTV. I hope they'll replay the interview at 10 P.M. (and I must say, it was very good coverage) It appears that Evans called his mother while the whole fiasco was taking place with Melton and his crew. In the interview she said that Evans was asking her to call 'the rent lady' to let her know that Melton and crew were tearing her house down. She also said that Evans told her that Mr. Frank had hit him in the head with a hammer. I think that's the 2nd time that little 'tidbit' has surfaced in the news. OK, I'm ignorant, but maybe I'm not the only one. Where and when will the Council Meeting be tomorrow? They will be discussing this issue. I think the more concerned citizens who turn out for the meeting the better. Hopefully it will send a message to the City Council that people are mad as hell and not going to take it anymore!

Author
JAR
Date
2006-09-04T19:10:04-06:00
ID
88910
Comment

If I am reading all this correctly... are we, the taxpayers, paying for these kids to do illegal destruction of personal property... AND using the city's (not Frank's personal toy) mobile command unit in this activity??? This is the way our tax dollars are being spent? Illegial damage, and possibly assault? (not to mention the civil rights aspect)? This is very bad. What is going to stop FM from goint into ANY house and use the excuse of drugs to destroy property. Where was the search warrant?

Author
Missy
Date
2006-09-04T19:12:50-06:00
ID
88911
Comment

City Council meets at 10:00 am at Jackson City Hall.

Author
malt
Date
2006-09-04T19:44:13-06:00
ID
88912
Comment

I have a great picture in my head! "Weekend at Bernie's" Chief Anderson has somehow been resurrected (perhaps with a spark) to arrest M the Mayor for the "perc" walk, complete with handfcuffs and shackles for destroying this house. I have a boatload of stickers for sale stating F THE MAYOR Anyone want to buy any? HDMatthias, MD

Author
HDMatthias, MD
Date
2006-09-04T19:49:27-06:00
ID
88913
Comment

did she state what kind of mental disability he has?

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-09-04T20:27:50-06:00
ID
88914
Comment

In other news: Kudos to the police for getting this perp off the streets today! Here is the money quote: Commander Vance says a thorough investigation is underway. He credits concerned citizens for keeping a watchful eye and protecting their community. "This individual who made this call should be highly commended. We need more people like that to give us information. And as a result of that tip, we were able to get this individual into custody and hopefully keep any more children out of danger," Vance says. So, what makes the tips of these good people any different than the "tips" the neighbors on W Ridgeway provided? Seems like the police should have acted on it, and arrested the Mayor's "guests" and the Mayor? Not in the City of Grace and Benevolence

Author
pikersam
Date
2006-09-04T20:33:15-06:00
ID
88915
Comment

NOW the cops had photos of this sicko a few months ago and just couldn't find him? Thanks Frank.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-09-04T20:38:16-06:00
ID
88916
Comment

I saw that Kingfish. It made me wonder if they didn't roll this guy today just to steer the news away from Melton? He does have a track record for using children to gain emotional favor with the public. Think of that 10 year old he trotted up on stage the other night. I'm glad they got the prep either way; but, the timing is impeccable. Or you can look at it as a wasted opportunity to show off a great bust because the Mayor's antics are overshadowing all other news - as he usually does. Time to stop this rickety fair ride before we all get sick!

Author
pikersam
Date
2006-09-04T21:13:08-06:00
ID
88917
Comment

Kenny Stokes obviously has been "bought" off. He has never been this quiet during his total terms in office. If the current mayor was white pulling the same antics he would be on TV every other day raising cane about the attacks on the black community. I hope the people of his district are taking notice of this. The council are a bunch of wusps. They put a new meaning to "having no guts." My concern is what are/can we do about this madman we call FM? What he has done to this city in 14 months is past scary. Another few months on this and we are doomed!!!

Author
maad
Date
2006-09-04T22:24:05-06:00
ID
88918
Comment

You mean Kenneth "I didn't know they were crackhouses" Stokes?

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-09-04T22:34:12-06:00
ID
88919
Comment

Just another question. If FM left the first time, then returned WITHOUT the police.... who was driving the Frank tank? Can anyone shed some light on this?

Author
Missy
Date
2006-09-04T22:42:52-06:00
ID
88920
Comment

here's another question. Isn't that mobile RV (wasn't it in stripes?) paid for with federal money?

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-09-04T22:44:10-06:00
ID
88921
Comment

The City Council meeting that's apparently going to address this issue is meeting tomorrow at 10 AM at Jackson City Hall, located at 219 S. President St. The more concerned citizens that can show up the better!! Please help, if you can.

Author
JAR
Date
2006-09-04T23:45:06-06:00
ID
88922
Comment

The people in Kenny's district are completely cowed by his re-election machine. Otherwise they would have voted him out ages ago. I mean, anyone can throw a BBQ and nail signs illegally to light poles.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2006-09-04T23:47:56-06:00
ID
88923
Comment

The people in Kenny's district are completely cowed by his re-election machine. Otherwise they would have voted him out ages ago. Not that I'm doubting you, but how can people be "cowed" by a re-election machine? Do you mean "taken in"? Or is this an unusually brutal re-election machine? (Or do I not really understand what "cowed" means as well as I think I do? :-P) Best, Tim

Author
Tim Kynerd
Date
2006-09-05T10:09:03-06:00
ID
88924
Comment

Ben had Larry on this morning to discuss the house being destroyed by Melton. I'll give them credit, they spelled out even more laws that Melton broke regarding Melton taking improper action as a law enforcement officer. They are encouraging someone to sign a formal compliant so that charges can be filed. However, beyond that Ben still comes across as apologetic to the mayor. Gave a lot of excuses as to why the council shouldn't get involved publicly, and couldn't do much if no one files charges. O RLY? Y'all can do something, whether you want to is another question? But, since the past is of no indicator for you, then we are destine to continue to deal with Melton's antics instead of moving forward faster and better! When one caller said that Melton was the wrong mayor at the wrong time, Ben responded, "Awww, now... Don't give up on Frank yet. He's still learning." "Still learning!" Do what?!? What kind of learning curve does this man need?!? The last mayor lowered crime and, and you wouldn't let a day go by without blasting him about crime! Now after months of crap, Melton finally breaks some real laws, and may have beat the crap out of a business owner's son and all you can say is "he's learning." That is sad!

Author
pikersam
Date
2006-09-05T10:12:40-06:00
ID
88925
Comment

I just heard that Stokes has brought in some people with photos to show the council. Maybe he is finally had enough to!

Author
pikersam
Date
2006-09-05T10:13:54-06:00
ID
88926
Comment

Wow, great discussion in my absence. As for the questions: We are working diligently to answer as many as possible. Keep them coming, as well as any information that you get on your own, you citizen journalists! To copper: I am not "paranoid." I know what a great job my staff does, and has done since the very beginning of the Melton campaign to get the rest of the story out there. The point here is that media coverage is vital to the discussion of how we got to this place, and what happens next. What is most important here to me is: What did the MSM know, and when did they know it? Ours sources tell us they were trying to get TV cameras out all week after this happened on Saturday. They got there on Friday after Adam starting kicking up dust. So the real issue isn't where the MSM gives us credit for breaking the story (that seldom happens), but why they didn't get it out there sooner. I assure you they would have had it happened in an Eastover neighborhood. Part of our mission is to challenge the MSM to do a more thorough job, and we will continue to do that no matter who it makes uncomfortable.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-05T10:21:05-06:00
ID
88927
Comment

that should be a hint Ms. Donna: Stay away. the discussions get better. hehehe. roflmao. hehehehe. couldn't resist.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-09-05T10:25:57-06:00
ID
88928
Comment

Kiss my grits, Kingfish! ;-D You're stuck with me, baby, although I'm vera, vera busy this week (and month) with some projects, so y'all might have to limp along without me.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-05T10:38:26-06:00
ID
88929
Comment

Donna don't ever stay away too long. We (bloggers) are here because of you. If it weren't you and the JFP we would have nothing to get the "real" news from. Keep on keeping on!!!!!

Author
maad
Date
2006-09-05T10:59:16-06:00
ID
88930
Comment

damn. coke just flew all over the screen. gag.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-09-05T11:09:49-06:00
ID
88931
Comment

You're such a charmer, Kingfish. Don't let anyone tell you any different, now. ;-P

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-05T12:34:14-06:00
ID
88932
Comment

BTW, on the media front, a source just told us that they started calling The Clarion-Ledger about this story on Aug. 28, two days after it happened. They didn't get a response, they said, until this past weekend, after our story came out.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-05T12:35:57-06:00
ID
88933
Comment

That's the *scariest* part of this whole story. That *no media outlets* picked it up, until after the JFP. Prior to 2001, did this much stuff go un-reported, or what?

Author
kate
Date
2006-09-05T12:56:41-06:00
ID
88934
Comment

Thank you, Kate, for getting the point. It's not about accolades for us; it's about the responsibility of local media to tell people what they need to know, in a complete way, and in a prompt way. BTW, that source said they wouldn't call the Ledger again for anything, that they would always calls the JFP first from now on. We've said it since the MSM's abysmal coverage of the city elections last year: The citizens deserve better than a bunch of sound bites. We're really reaping what the MSM has sown for us these days.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-05T13:07:14-06:00
ID
88935
Comment

Jackson Council split over investigating mayor about damaged house "Ward 7 Councilwoman Margaret Barrett-Simon walked out of the closed session visibly upset. She said she wants to see the incident investigated, but based on council discussion she said there was not enough support."

Author
millhouse
Date
2006-09-05T13:20:17-06:00
ID
88936
Comment

Well, it says a lot about council members caring more about politics than the people of Jackson. Just what will it take, Council?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-05T13:22:47-06:00
ID
88937
Comment

So, how can we get the whole City Council investigated along with the Mayor? This is freakin' outrageous. Melton "denies using a sledgehammer" and has no other comment, and they don't find this worth investigating. Where are Hood and Peterson on this?

Author
kate
Date
2006-09-05T13:28:25-06:00
ID
88938
Comment

One of the biggest ironies, if this breaks down as I suspect, is that Ben Allen and Kenneth Stokes seem in lockstep when it comes to the mayor. That is, don't challenge him publicly. The Council is in a serious danger of losing public trust themselves here. Again I ask: What will it take?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-05T13:30:38-06:00
ID
88939
Comment

It would help if the people who were wronged stood up for themselves. If he and his cronies damaged the house, file charges and sue them. Don't blame the council for not taking up for them when they won't do it for themselves.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-09-05T13:38:02-06:00
ID
88940
Comment

Yep, just as we blogged earlier, the council has let the city and the legal system down. Before leaving, Barrett-Simon said there are three council members, including herself, who believe the allegations should be investigated, but four do not. “We as a council need to take responsibility to see that lawlessness doesn’t take over the city,” she said. I guess this just happened on the wrong side of I-55? Eh Ben? "It's a damn shame what they did to that house over there," Melton said Sunday night. Then he snickered. Hope all of you Meltonites have a good laugh at the expense of a little old lady, a mentally ill man, and your new heroes - Melton's guests! I figure 99% of Eastover wouldn't have "Melton's guests" in their house for dinner if they met them on the street. Wooo lordy, let one of their daughters bring one of "Melton's guests" home to meet dad! ROTFLMAO!!!! But, let them tear up a house on the wrong side of the tracks; and it time to get together and "snicker!" Just yuck it up, like Larry and his pals the other morning, telling how he would love to beat the tar out of a purse snatcher on stage for the opening of the crime summit! Then do it some more to another guy! And y'all brag about going to church! What kind of church justifies "your" version of how to handle crime and those who aren't the same skin color or socioeconomic background as you? Who taught you what America was about growing up? You guys need to find a moral compass quick!

Author
pikersam
Date
2006-09-05T13:39:37-06:00
ID
88941
Comment

It would help if the people who were wronged stood up for themselves. If he and his cronies damaged the house, file charges and sue them. Don't blame the council for not taking up for them when they won't do it for themselves. Kingfish Need we remind the readers that just the other day our police force has started a formal investigation; and took down a man based on an anonymous tip? Commander Vance says a thorough investigation is underway. He credits concerned citizens for keeping a watchful eye and protecting their community. "This individual who made this call should be highly commended. We need more people like that to give us information. And as a result of that tip, we were able to get this individual into custody and hopefully keep any more children out of danger," Vance says. I guess some tips are worth following up more than others? It's pretty clear now that our highest profile leaders in Jackson have failed the system and the people. All to keep some false front of "being right" about supporting Melton.

Author
pikersam
Date
2006-09-05T13:46:37-06:00
ID
88942
Comment

Just yuck it up, like Larry and his pals the other morning Moe and Curly? You guys need to find a moral compass quick! I fear they wouldn't know how to read it.

Author
Tim Kynerd
Date
2006-09-05T13:52:12-06:00
ID
88943
Comment

Not sure what you mean by this: "Ours sources tell us they were trying to get TV cameras out all week after this happened on Saturday. They got there on Friday after Adam starting kicking up dust." Your sources tell you? That's awful vague. It seems to me that you think the main stream media sit and wait for your reporters to do something before they do. That's absurd. You also say the real issue is not whether your reporter should get credit for breaking the story. Judging from your posts last week, that WAS your issue. The main stream media has sources too. Especially WLBT, I would bet, with Bert, Howard, Maggie, Marsha, and others. Maybe your sources are also THEIR sources!

Author
copper thief
Date
2006-09-05T13:59:40-06:00
ID
88944
Comment

It is vague, because I'm not going to reveal the sources. It seems to me that you think the main stream media sit and wait for your reporters to do something before they do. That's absurd. Of course, they don't do that every time. But they do it enough -- for cover, I assume -- that it is very disturbing. I know they have sources -- and those same sources could have told them about, say, the Meridian lawsuit against Melton and The Clarion-Ledger, the firefighter story, gotten them the crime stats before they appeared on our Web site, and they did tell them about this story much earlier in the week. I think it's tragic that they waited until other media covered it to put it out. I'm assuming that's because they (a) didn't think Melton's actions in that neighborhood are important or (b) they are afraid of Frank Melton. You also say the real issue is not whether your reporter should get credit for breaking the story. Judging from your posts last week, that WAS your issue. Actually, I didn't post a whole lot last week. As you can see above, I responded before the WLBT story ran and said I hoped they gave credit where it was due. They didn't, and the guy from over there got very defensive about it, and I responded to him. I then explained that I thought the bigger issue was why the MSM waited so long to report this story. As for them having those sources, I suspect that they use them more often. Otherwise, feel free to post on a different topic should one interest you -- or did you join Sunday simply to defend a MSM that is coming across a bit late on this one?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-05T14:05:47-06:00
ID
88945
Comment

Where were their (WLBT's) sources last year before the election? You guys have been mailing it in for about 2 years now.

Author
pikersam
Date
2006-09-05T14:06:12-06:00
ID
88946
Comment

Where were their (WLBT's) sources last year before the election? A three-pointer for Pike.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-05T14:07:19-06:00
ID
88947
Comment

Oh, and while we have a couple of MSM bloggers' attention, why didn't y'all report more about Mr. Bluntson's past during the campaign?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-05T14:08:01-06:00
ID
88948
Comment

copper thief, why is it absurd to think that other media fail to pick up stories until after the JFP runs them? It's happened over and over and over and over and over again. The only bright spot here is that they are, however belatedly, picking up these stories. Unlike some of the stories that they could have run *during Melton's campaign for Mayor* that would have shed a completely different light on him and his campaign.

Author
kate
Date
2006-09-05T14:08:29-06:00
ID
88949
Comment

Kate makes a good point. The MSM has progressed a bit. During the campaign, they just ignored "the rest of the story." Now they follow. Better than nothin'.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-05T14:11:45-06:00
ID
88950
Comment

And to the MSM, by bashing your poor election coverage doesn't mean that Johnson wouldn't have lost anyway. But, the utter disregard for the past of Melton and Blunston; and so many other relevant stories about Melton pretty much soured any chance of the people being informed enough to make up their own minds.

Author
pikersam
Date
2006-09-05T14:14:21-06:00
ID
88951
Comment

True, I've been at public appearances with two different Clarion-Ledger editors. When criticized for their (non) coverage of Melton during the campaign, they both said that they public's mind was made up anyway. One of them even said that the public wasn't interested in "all that." Playing God, I guess.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-05T14:18:32-06:00
ID
88952
Comment

Also, I'm not sure Johnson would have lost had the media covered him fairly -- not biased toward him, but fairly -- for his entire tenure. I read the archives now, and am amazed and befuddled at the bad journalism, going all the way back through perception-gate and such. What's funny is that we lived in a crime-obsessed area. Mayor Johnson oversaw one of the most impressive drops in crime in our history. Mayor Melton is overseeing one of the most dramatic increases. He seemingly commits crimes to, supposedly, fight crime. And, somehow, Melton is seen as the crime mayor. Tell me the abysmal media coverage has nothing to do with that. I really turned on The Clarion-Ledger when I saw how they weree building a case against Johnson/Moore in all their "perception" coverage -- saying the whole time that the chief said something he didn't say. I have seen very little media coverage worse than that whole string of articles. (Although their "jackpot justice" series was a close second, but I digress.)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-05T14:22:16-06:00
ID
88953
Comment

Copper, I'm disappointed in you. didn't anyone teach you some basic facts of life? All women are drama queens and love to talk about themselves. Nothing evil or wrong in that, just the way it is. get over it. you'll feel better once you realize that.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-09-05T15:10:08-06:00
ID
88954
Comment

Some people have been commenting that the victims of the Melton sledgehammer gang should simply file charges and not depend on the City Council. Wellllll, one of the victims is reported to be mentally handicapped and is sitting in a jail cell in Raymond. I think his hands are tied for the moment. The owner of the property, Jennifer Sutton, also lives in that neighbor. As she's been reluctant to show her face on camera, my guess is she's afraid. I know I would be if I were in her shoes. The City Council proved it today by voting not to investigate Melton..So sorry lady, but we don't protect people who live in your neighborhood. How does the typical playground bully choose their victim? By finding the kid who's least able to fight back. I think for these victims to find the money and resources...and an attorney..to fight Melton may be extremely difficult. Would you be so ready to fight, fight, fight if you knew his Command bus was tooling around your neighborhood? What the City Council did this morning is hideous, and I hope their phones are ringing off the hook.

Author
JAR
Date
2006-09-05T15:16:31-06:00
ID
88955
Comment

I made a special effort to be present this morning at City Hall. For some unknown reason, they decided to make this issue a "closed-door" item, away from the public. A lot of people walked out of City Hall after this was announced. Stokes, Tillman, Bluntson and Allen are ALL COWARDS! They couldn't face the public staring them in the face, so they WEAKLY went behind closed doors to try and nip this in the bud. Hopefully, this is NOT the end of this story. As President, it's VERY obvious that Ben Allen is AFRAID of Frank Melton. No matter who was in the wrong, when Marhand Crisler was President, he stood up to them. He called Melton on the carpet several times. This is one of the reasons I have the utmost respect towards him. I'll add Mrs. Barretts name to the list as well. Melton, was NOT present at the city council meeting this morning. He too was too cowardly to show his lying face in public. We need to find out what four voted against an investigation, and then investigate them. I already have an idea who they are. Major criticism needs to be heaped upon those four for this debacle.

Author
Joerob
Date
2006-09-05T15:18:54-06:00
ID
88956
Comment

I'm a bit confused by the blame-the-victim excuse here. Does the victim *have* to file charges in such a case where all those witnesses saw blatant criminal activity occur in their neighborhood? So we're going to put them off on the people most at danger (at least of having their homes destroyed)?!? No, it's the *public* and our public servants who need to stand up this time. A lot is on the line here; I hope the elected officials realize it.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-05T15:19:45-06:00
ID
88957
Comment

What's remarkable is that it looked like the city's attorneys, appointed by Melton, advised them not to investigate. I bet.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-05T15:20:25-06:00
ID
88958
Comment

No one is blaming the victim. However, it does strengthen a case against Melton if he and his cronies committed wrongdoing if some of the victims state what happened. That means trying to file charges, sueing, holding a press conference etc.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-09-05T15:31:24-06:00
ID
88959
Comment

They are stating what happened. I still vehemently disagree that the only way something should happen is that if they, er, "care enough" to file charges themselves, especially if they're scared to death of what's going to happen to them and their homes if they do. Clearly, that neighborhood was terrorized last Saturday night; can you blame people of being terrified? Not saying you're arguing this, but there are those who are. We are *long* past the point of blaming the victim here. Anyone who doesn't speak up and out here share some of the blame. And that certainly includes those four Council members. I had respected at least two of them in the past, but this is remarkable.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-05T15:34:42-06:00
ID
88960
Comment

The President of the Council is supposed to be ABOVE the fray, but as we can plainly see, he's not. He's knee deep in it himself. If the other three council members could vote against the attorney's advice, surely the Council President has that same option.

Author
Joerob
Date
2006-09-05T15:35:02-06:00
ID
88961
Comment

Good point, Joerob. There is nothing above the fray about this.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-05T15:36:28-06:00
ID
88962
Comment

Why do we have a "Crime Stoppers" phone line for citizens to call in anonymous tips about crime if the police can't use those tips? Or that's right they can use THOSE tips. But, if a group of people see a crime occur (isn't the destruction of the house enough evidence) and tells the newspapers, then we hear from our leaders, "oh, our hands are tied by the laws of the land, snicker, snicker." "Ummm...yeah... unless somebody files a complaint, then we can't do anything... snicker, snicker." Do y'all not think these neighbors are scared? Do you not think that if Melton is willing to let these boys loose with him present, that they may be wrecking havoc after the fact to ensure that they stay scared? Again: "It's a damn shame what they did to that house over there," Melton said Sunday night. Then he snickered.

Author
pikersam
Date
2006-09-05T15:40:18-06:00
ID
88963
Comment

As many attorneys as we have in Jackson, let alone black attorneys, surely someone would step up and fight on behalf of these folks?

Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2006-09-05T15:43:38-06:00
ID
88964
Comment

Right. When public servants do not stand up for the rights of the powerless, it's what's called abdication of responsibility.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-05T15:51:55-06:00
ID
88965
Comment

This is normally the kind of stuff that a Chokwe Lumumba would be dying to jump into. Assuming he's unavailable for some reasons, surely there is another legal eagle who might take it on pro bono or something?

Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2006-09-05T15:59:03-06:00
ID
88966
Comment

Here's WAPT's take on today's events. The money quote is from Stokes: "Get the dope out of my ward by any means necessary. The people of my ward deserve the same thing as people in Eastover is getting. They go to sleep at night, it's quiet. Why can't my people go to sleep at night? Why can't the people of Ridgeway lay down without hearing gun shots without seeing people stealing," said Councilman Kenneth Stokes with Ward 3. First of all, the reason they couldn't sleep on Ridgeway the other night is that the mayor's guests were doing demolition work in the dark - at night! Second, this one case doesn't have anything to do with stealing or gun shots. And if you, Kenneth, think that by breaking the law you will decrease drugs and crime, then you are not worthy of the oath you took to hold office. Resign with Melton and the other three croonies on the Council! Y'all are useless to the poor and underserved in this community. You know, Kim Wade likes to say there are "black professionals" (doctors, lawyers, business men) and "professional blacks" (Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, etc...). I think it is safe to say that Ben Allen has joined the latter group!

Author
pikersam
Date
2006-09-05T16:56:46-06:00
ID
88967
Comment

See the top of this story. We posted breaking info from the D.A. a bit ago.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-05T16:59:59-06:00
ID
88968
Comment

How 'bout Allen's comments. He's parrotting what the Melton apologists are saying -- that it's up to the victims to file charges. Guess what? That's. Not. True. See the top of this story for an update. And his Gestapo quote was plain embarrassing, and offensive to the memory of people who were victims of the Gestapo. Asking someone to enforce the law, and make sure that the city is not condoning, or paying for, B.S. such as Melton's "crime" tactics is not being the damn Gestapo. Melton's tactics are closer. I guess Allen thinks it's up to someone else, huh? Severely disappointing.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-05T17:07:20-06:00
ID
88969
Comment

And should we assume that the police are going to go tear down every house where illegal drugs are kept are indulged in. If so, I know some N-Jammers who better sell out and leave town.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-05T17:08:24-06:00
ID
88970
Comment

Pikersam, the quote from Stokes confirmed what I had felt, that he is sacrified his integrity for the sake of politicial expedience, believing that Melton can rid his ward of crime by being underhanded, abusive, and downright evil. He has shown himself to be as corrupt as Melton by making that statement and his silence on other issues related to Melton, and both of them should be booted out of office along with the other (now "Four") Meltoneers (Bluntson, Tillman, and Allen)

Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2006-09-05T17:20:20-06:00
ID
88971
Comment

Allen has lost all respect from me as my councilman... Can I have the Ward line pushed a street or two over, please? I much prefer Barrett-Simon! And, by the way, Stokes, I hear gun shots and have recently been robbed and I'm in Allen's ward... Don't make it all about you and your constituents dealing with crime vs. Eastover. In case you haven't heard, it's ALL AROUND and GETTING WORSE under Melton. Wonder if Lynette has room for two houseboys, a catahoula, and a rat terrier in Portland?!? God knows Melton needs to leave before everyone else in Jackson does! ;-)

Author
kaust
Date
2006-09-05T17:30:39-06:00
ID
88972
Comment

I'm beginning to think we should go back to calling Jackson Chimneyville. If Frank has his way, that's all that will be standing. But, seriously, Donna, I had the same question the other night (re: tearing down *all* houses where drugs are used)... First, that creates a huge burden on property owners that rent property to others. Second, without a warrant or proper seizure by the city, it's insane to think you can simply destroy someone's property. Is he a complete idiot or just lacking common sense and the basics of the constitution and our legal system? It's hard not to turn this all into ad hominems at this point. This is just sick and I'm utterly embarrased to say I'm from Jackson at the moment. Frank's going to run the last of the property owners and businesses out of town if he keeps this !@#$ up. The man has to go! Go back to Texas! Go back to BMI! We don't care... Just go away, please! I hope the DA manages to follow through on this and the witnesses aren't bullied into submission. Can you imagine the personal fodder she'll crate for her opponents if she doesn't?

Author
kaust
Date
2006-09-05T17:37:38-06:00
ID
88973
Comment

FYI: 97-1-6 Directing or causing felony to be committed by person under age of seventeen years. In addition to any other penalty and provision of law, any person over the age of seventeen (17) who shall direct or cause any person under the age of seventeen (17) to commit any crime which would be a felony if committed by an adult shall be guilty of a felony and upon conviction shall be fined not more than Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00) or imprisoned for not more than twenty (20) years, or both. Sources: Laws, 1994, ch. 595, § 7, eff from and after July 1, 1994.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-05T17:41:55-06:00
ID
88974
Comment

I just read the updated headline. I could hug Faye Peterson. This is incredibly courageous of her, and it will probably cost her her political career. I'm proud to say that I'm in Barrett-Simon's ward, too. Are there any male leaders in Jackson with backbone? Re "above the fray," I've gotten fond, lately, of the term "rational elitism," as defined by Rick Gell: A "rational elitist" revels in the gray area and the long view, sees both sides of virtually every issue, never gets angry enough to "blow his or her top," hates shouting and recognizes, as the mature and wise fellows they know they are, that compromise and slow change are the realities of the world. They are "elitists" because their acute self-knowledge, wise and thoughtful ways allow them to continually look down on those of us who just can't seem to control our anger and frustration at the injustice, greed and moral compromises we see around us ... Rational elitists are never poor, so they can take the long view because they have health insurance, good paying jobs and probably don't have many personal friends dying in Iraq. It is not their life that is being destroyed. Of course, compromise is necessary and things take time to change, but just as every conspiracy theorist sees the world through a prism of paranoia, the rational elitist is pathologically committed to the finding the middle ground, the bipartisan approach and the long view ... Rational elitists just don't get it. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-09-05T17:42:33-06:00
ID
88975
Comment

The stellar reporters from WLBT have uncovered this useless tidbit about Welch. Meanwhile, WLBT has discovered some alarming findings about Evans Welch, the man whose house was torn down by Mayor Melton. Welch has an extensive criminal record, dating back to 1993. He's been charged with 6 felonies, including business burglary and violation of probation. Welch has also faced 28 misdemeanors charges, ranging from domestic violence, to assault and shoplifting. In addition, Welch has been charged with 1 drug related felony and 3 drug related misdemeanors. Which means nothing when the law was broken to apprehend this man - who is not that dangerous. Why not point that out WLBT. Too easy? Maybe you should transfer the tag of Jackson's most dangerous man from Vidal to Mr. Welch. Alarming! You find this man's past alarming. Is it alarming enough to have the front of his landlady's house torn off at the hands of wayward youths or "thugs" (call them what they are Ben and Larry) and the Mayor? Again, it was NOT WELCH'S HOUSE! It was someone else's rental home. Their way for income! Still carring Melton's water at WLBT I see!

Author
pikersam
Date
2006-09-05T17:44:19-06:00
ID
88976
Comment

Gell's "rational elitist" is awfully similar, BTW, to Dr. King's "white moderate": I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a "more convenient season." Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection. I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and that when they fan in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress. I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that the present tension in the South is a necessary phase of the transition from an obnoxious negative peace, in which the Negro passively accepted his unjust plight, to a substantive and positive peace, in which all men will respect the dignity and worth of human personality. Actually, we who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive. We bring it out in the open, where it can be seen and dealt with. Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with an its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured. We need more people of courage in office. Peterson and Barrett-Simons can't do it all alone. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-09-05T17:48:04-06:00
ID
88977
Comment

Yep, here comes the spin. What matters is that his arrest record doesn't matter when it comes to what Mr. Melton and boys are accused of doing, and hopefully WLBT is smart enough to know the difference. Civics 101, anyone? In America, one crime does not justify another. The part where this team of young people did the dirty work is the most appalling to me. And Melton is supposed to be a ... ROLE MODEL!?!

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-05T17:49:49-06:00
ID
88978
Comment

Nice Dr. King post, Tom. Thank you.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-05T17:51:19-06:00
ID
88979
Comment

pikersam, that reminds me very much of how folks talking about Rodney King love to discuss his history of drug-related arrests, as if that would excuse beating him to a pulp. I even heard someone use the history of Emmett Till's father--who allegedly raped a woman while serving in Italy, and was hanged for it--to justify his lynching. There is a pathological need the privileged have to be reassured that it's okay, and give one of us half a chance and we'll buy into it. If Evans Welch was a slimeball, it doesn't matter if Melton committed multiple felonies destroying his house. If Salim Ahmed Hamdan was Osama bin Laden's driver, it doesn't matter if we throw away the Geneva Conventions in dealing with him. Und so weiter. I want to feel this way all the time. It's more comfortable. We're all used to the idea that good is safe and comfortable and evil is unsafe and uncomfortable, but sometimes the reverse is true. Sometimes the natural, safe, and comfortable thing to do is also the most evil thing we can do. Sometimes the most unnatural, unsafe, and uncomfortable thing to do is also the most ethical thing to do. Privilege--"rational elitism," the "white moderate" upbringing, whatever you want to call it--is all about suppressing that very hard, very cold truth. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-09-05T17:52:47-06:00
ID
88980
Comment

Well, you know what they say. You don't really believe in this American experiment if you don't believe it applies to those you disagree with, or loathe, the most. That includes accused criminals. The biggest irony to me are the well-to-do illegal drug users we all know who get outraged, OUTRAGED that someone would dare to have an arrest weapon for drug activity, and then somehow justify brutality and violence against them. They are nothing but damn hypocrites.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-05T17:56:03-06:00
ID
88981
Comment

Ben Allen: "Don't dump it into our laps."

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-05T18:01:16-06:00
ID
88982
Comment

Interesting that WLBT said Welch has "been charged" with all of those crimes. How many convictions?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-05T18:02:48-06:00
ID
88983
Comment

I'll say, if you could combine the WLBT and WAPT reports at 6pm you can have a really good story. It's a shame certain councilmembers are passing on grabing the reigns of this in case Faye or others can make a case now that the landlady has filed a complaint.

Author
pikersam
Date
2006-09-05T18:06:51-06:00
ID
88984
Comment

Remember, they could have done it whether or not the landlady "filed charges." I really hate hearing that myth being spread around -- and by Council members, no less.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-05T18:10:50-06:00
ID
88985
Comment

I'm sure WAPT will post the video of the mayor saying he doesn't give a damn and that we can get rid of him in three years.... OMG! LOL! He, Blunston, Tillman, and Stokes are definitely the moderate whites in this town per MLKjr! And now they got their own version of the "white shadow" in Allen! 8-p

Author
pikersam
Date
2006-09-05T18:11:45-06:00
ID
88986
Comment

To me, the bottom line has NOTHING to do with drugs, Mr. Stokes. That's just a smoke screen to fool people in the public who aren't really paying attention, and you know it! Ok..What if every home in your ward that contains illegal drugs was smashed in? How many would still be standing? For that matter, what if every home containing illegal drugs in every ward was smashed in? How many would still be standing? For THAT matter, what if every home belonging to a city official containing illegal drugs was smashed in? Oh, how I wonder!! Let's be sure to include rental properties that city officials own. The landlady of the Ridgeway home was hurt the most, and she wasn't doing any drugs... What do you think Mr. Stokes?

Author
JAR
Date
2006-09-05T19:04:05-06:00
ID
88987
Comment

We are just shy of being a true "Rubber stamp legislature" when it comes to our City Council. I wouldn't look for any hard questions about the city budget either as they raise our taxes and fees. No questions as to why the police budget is blown or what departments are the salaries for Melton's staff coming from? The consultants? The temp company? Why we have less police and general city staff than ever before, and we are still in danger of wasting our rainy day funds? What about that? It's not all utilities and pro-life rallys! Just because we have a good bond rating now doesn't mean you can't mees it up for the future. Folks just remember our council spokesperson wants us to cut Frank some slack: "Don't give up on Frank yet. He's still learning." Damn, it sure is taking a long time! And, we certainly aren't getting paid enough to teach him how to "be da mayor." Cut your losses. Fold this hand. Or, as Chappelle would say, "Wrap it up!"

Author
pikersam
Date
2006-09-05T19:06:48-06:00
ID
88988
Comment

Thank GOODNESS for Barrett-Simon and Peterson!!! Looks like the only city officials with balls...are women. Thanks Steel Magnolias!

Author
JAR
Date
2006-09-05T19:07:10-06:00
ID
88989
Comment

Exactly, JAR! The landlady is the biggest victim here. Sure her tenant wasn't a star student; but, he paid rent. Heck, I've got three rental properties on my street; and, I'm sure that one of them has some students that smoke some weed in it! Hurry up, and take care of this Melton. I want a whole army of 15 year old boys bounding across my neighbors yard, shirtless, sweaty, with large hammers. Just wrecking havoc and thrusting the large heads of iron into the soft drywall, swinging in unison as windows break.... Sorry.... I've got to go swim now!

Author
pikersam
Date
2006-09-05T19:16:52-06:00
ID
88990
Comment

Maybe they'll set up a hotline so folks can report the house numbers of pot-smokers throughout Jackson, so their houses can be torn down. That's show them thugs!

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-05T19:35:43-06:00
ID
88991
Comment

I wouldn't look for any hard questions about the city budget either as they raise our taxes and fees. No questions as to why the police budget is blown or what departments are the salaries for Melton's staff coming from? The consultants? The temp company? Why we have less police and general city staff than ever before, and we are still in danger of wasting our rainy day funds? What about that? It's not all utilities and pro-life rallys! Just because we have a good bond rating now doesn't mean you can't mees it up for the future. pike Well, I didn't expect to answer my own question so quick. Here's the new 2 mil. budget increase! 1 mil. more than they announced Melton wanted a while back. BTW: I meant to close my last post with: ;-)

Author
pikersam
Date
2006-09-05T19:42:53-06:00
ID
88992
Comment

Devil's advocate time. It is not the job of leaders to stand up for the rights of the poor and powerless. It is their job to stand up for the rights of everyone. The guy who worked his ass off to achieve something however modest or great in life in order to care for himself and his family is just as entitled to such protection as the poor and powerless are. Melton and his crew were out of line for doing this. period. However, this brings up an interesting question. If I'm Sutton, do I evict Welch if he WAS arrested for marijuana and is convicted of it? Most leases have a clause about illegal behavior on premises. If its proven in court that such activity took place, then does Sutton evict Evans? I'm also not crazy about Peterson's comments. Before I get slammed for that statement, let me explain. I'm never happy with prosecutors who try cases in media, grandstand, make comments etc. What I do support is Ms Peterson having an aggressive and THOROUGH investigation and THEN charging/indicting Melton if she finds anything illegal took place. At that point, she will have the last laugh and can say what she wants. Yes, there is a need for leaders to speak out on this, however, she is a prosecutor, I'd like to see her investigate, then prosecute and then make her comments. If she can indict/arrest hiim, there will be PLENTY for her to talk about and she'll have the last laugh.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-09-05T20:02:04-06:00
ID
88993
Comment

One: Was this property condenmed? Where there notices presented through usual legal means? What are the usual methods used to remove a house? Who is resonsible for this "process?" Who will proceed to answer questions about legality, prosecution, crimial, and civil liability? Who will answer these questions? Anyone? By the way, does anyone give a S***? HDMatthias, MD

Author
HDMatthias, MD
Date
2006-09-05T20:11:34-06:00
ID
88994
Comment

I think it's important to clarify that Peterson is not trying the case in the media, as far as I can tell. The media are asking her direct questions, and she is giving information back about what charges would be, which any public servant should do, while refusing to confirm whether she is investigating this case or say much about it. Notice how media outlets are twisting this around to make it look like she's way out in front of it. I interviewed her today and found her being very cautious about what she said, and let's just say that I doubt she is being MORE effusive with other media outlets than she is willing to be with us, considering how fair we've been to her in the past. Otherwise, your questions are kind of interesting, but not very relevant to what's going on here. Also, you seem to be working mighty hard at playing devil's advocate to even imply that by saying that public servants should stand up for the poor somehow translate into not standing up for anybody who isn't poor. That's absurd, and I wouldn't say it or imply it. You might be working a bit overtime here to try to get an argument going. You pulled that one out of an orifice, Kingfish, and it reeks a bit as a result.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-05T20:15:22-06:00
ID
88995
Comment

Well, Doc, I would say that a lot of people care. We're hearing from them left and right. However, there are four City Council members who do not seem to fall into that category.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-05T20:16:23-06:00
ID
88996
Comment

I just had an idea; maybe WJNT should debut the "Ben & Kenny Show." Two of Mr. Melton's apologists can go on the air every week and talk about why we just have to give him time to grow up, and all. (El Presidente is going to hate that one; I feel my phone ringing already. I'm here late, Ben.)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-05T20:17:52-06:00
ID
88997
Comment

actually no I'm not reaching. I'll scroll through a thread and sometimes thoughts just pop into my head and I"ll post them here. Just curious about the landlord/tenant deal even though it has nothing to do with what Melton did. As for my comments about the powerless etc, just saw that written earlier and merely responded to it. As for Peterson I, was not coming down on her. If there is a time for her to investigate Melton's actions, THIS is it. There is a perfectly legal way for him to demolish that house if he so desires. Get a drug conviction on tohe tenant, prove that the house is a den of drug activity, go through the procribed judicial process to seize and demolish such property, then do it. There is a reason we have rules and due process, Melton's thought's be damned. There is a battle royal coming between those two and I'm just thinking she shouldn't give him anything to respond to until she investigates and then can begin a prosecution against him. And Doc, people do care although over on CL forums, people aren't posting as much. I think stereotypes are coming into play over there.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-09-05T20:22:36-06:00
ID
88998
Comment

Point taken about the D.A., but it is important to understand that she is not courting media on this. She's in a tough spot, and seems to be handling it professionally so far, as least from where we sit.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-05T20:25:10-06:00
ID
88999
Comment

She will be accused of protecting known criminals and is one of the reasons why we have a crime problem in Jackson and how he is looking at a referral to the AG or feds for prosecution.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-09-05T20:36:47-06:00
ID
89000
Comment

Seems to me she is protecting the lady who owned the home; and, surely it will be harder for them to prove she knew drug activity was going on in her rental, than it will be to prove Melton's guests destroyed the duplex. Of course those are details that shouldn't matter since you can't just tear down someone's home!

Author
pikersam
Date
2006-09-05T20:48:47-06:00
ID
89001
Comment

I thought I posted this: 97-1-6 Directing or causing felony to be committed by person under age of seventeen years. In addition to any other penalty and provision of law, any person over the age of seventeen (17) who shall direct or cause any person under the age of seventeen (17) to commit any crime which would be a felony if committed by an adult shall be guilty of a felony and upon conviction shall be fined not more than Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00) or imprisoned for not more than twenty (20) years, or both. Sources: Laws, 1994, ch. 595, § 7, eff from and after July 1, 1994.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-05T20:58:30-06:00
ID
89002
Comment

Interestingly, this is what AP reported on Aug. 28 about this incident: Jackson's tough-talking, crime-fighting mayor suffered cuts on both hands over the weekend as he followed city police officers who were chasing suspected drug dealers, city spokesman Tyrone Lewis said. ... Melton and a group of police officers were in the Virden Addition for a crime sweep. Lewis said the mayor wants to focus his efforts on the neighborhood, and he was checking out problem areas around the city. After viewing a suspected drug deal Saturday night, Jackson officers chased those involved into a house. Melton followed and cut his hands as he entered the building. The accident happened about 9:25 p.m. [...] Those involved in the suspected drug transaction got away, Lewis said. He would not provide an address of the house.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-05T21:12:52-06:00
ID
89003
Comment

It's interesting that a so-call "objective" wire service would lead by calling Melton a "crime-fighting mayor," huh? Would it be accurate to call him that as a statement of fact?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-05T21:13:40-06:00
ID
89004
Comment

I think that AP story is very telling. It paints a picture of Melton chasing the suspected drug dealer, then when he went into the house, he cut his hand. I would guess that the suspect was Welch and the house was the duplex? So, after cutting his hand, he was pissed and hyped up. So, he returned with the "guests" and commenced to bring Frank's style of justice to the house and its occupants. Then they went up to the Upper Level, hyped from the house work they just did, and then beat Mr. Moore once given the opportunity. How some of our City Council can't see from the time line of stories, and reports from the police, that Melton is lying about several incidents from the other night. Did he cut his hand at 9pm or 12pm. Was he chasing a drug suspect or clearing glass out of Welch's rental. What about the Upper Level? Why did he ride with the accuser? I'm sure that was a pleasant ride for Mr. Moore! Instead we get what I predicted...."Nothing to see here folks... move along...."

Author
pikersam
Date
2006-09-05T21:28:16-06:00
ID
89005
Comment

That's what's called a "narrative frame," or framework. It's a textbook example of how easy it is to hide bias, intentionally or not, in a so-called "objective" story. I don't think "moving along" is in the cards on this one.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-05T21:37:16-06:00
ID
89006
Comment

Wonder who read Evans Welch his Miranda rights? If Frank put the handcuffs on him then who is allowed to read him his rights? I don't believe citizens reciting them works with the law. Also, I believe an evaluation of his mental capacities is very relevant. Did he even understand his home was being used for selling drugs ? (If this is even true.) Dr. Matthais, there is a very detailed and rigerous procedure to follow before you can tear down a house. I just heard on the news that Melton had called the Owner and offered to pay for repairs and that she had turned him down. Why would he offer to pay if he didn't destroy or cause it to be destroyed?

Author
ChrisCavanaugh
Date
2006-09-05T22:24:42-06:00
ID
89007
Comment

Which station, Chris? I doubt this one's going to quite so easy to bury. Just a guess.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-05T22:53:36-06:00
ID
89008
Comment

Here it is at the end of the WLBT report: WLBT has also learned that the mayor called the property owner tonight and offered to repair the home, but she informed the mayor that she was not interested. The property's mortgage holder, Minnie Rhodes, said the conversation ended when the owner hung up on the mayor. Also, WLBT is reporting the charges that we reported this afternoon that Peterson said Melton et al. could be charged with if the evidence holds.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-05T22:59:00-06:00
ID
89009
Comment

Chris, she turned him down? Brah, thats what I'm talkin bout. Sounds like she aint playing his game. Like in For a Few Dollars More.... NOW we start.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-09-05T23:44:32-06:00
ID
89010
Comment

*...I doubt this one's going to quite so easy to bury. Just a guess.* < -- ladd I think you're right, Donna. Melton has thumbed his nose at the law one time too many. INow, it is up to us to make sure that this does not fall prey to Melton's usual lies, obfuscation, smoke-and-mirrors trickery, and his mistaken narcissistic notion that somehow--and for whatever reason--he is above the law! I'm 700 miles away from Jackson, and reading this blog this evening initially caused me great dismay and bewilderment...until I read about DA Faye Peterson's comments. Then, I felt immediate gratitude and solace in reading that somebody in a position of authority is willing to draw a line in the sand against tyrrany and domestic terrorism. It appears that Peterson is approaching the matter in a deliberate, methodical way (ironically, not unlike Harvey Johnson's much maligned thoughtful proclivity towards municipal governance). That said, I'm not too sure that I buy into Tom's conclusion that *...it will probably cost her [Peterson] her political career.* Quite the contrary: it just may MAKE her political career, especially if we stand solidly behind her efforts to ensure that justice is served irrespective of the drubbing she's sure to get from the passel of misguided, hoodwinked Meltonites who seem to uphold his every ploy to destroy our fair city! For one, I am prepared to support the DA come hell or high water, and those of us who respect and cherish the rule of law ought to do the same!

Author
Kacy
Date
2006-09-06T00:03:24-06:00
ID
89011
Comment

I'm with you Kacy. I'm thinking, and HOPING, that this will help make Peterson's career. She has balls/backbone. Also kudos to Barrett-Simon! I said 'Kudos' not "CUJO' as Melton's favorite cap reads. I went to the City Council meeting this morning. I've never gone to a Council meeting in my life, and had to ask the blog what time it was held and where to go. That kind of makes me a jerk, I know, but I've always had such apathy about the government, assuming that there's nothing that a private citizen can do. As I sat in the Council meeting, though, I had high hopes. During the opening part they let property owners and concerned citizens ask for more time to clean up property, that I assume had been given notices from the city. Those requests were granted. I sat back and waited for the Ridgeway home to be brought up. I was thinking, 'Oh, this is cool. The Council members are fair minded.' However when the agenda got to # 19 "Law enforcement/Liability issues" the Council said that 'Legal' had advised them to discuss that in Executive.. aka (as I learned).. private session. SOME of the members of the Council SNICKERED at that point. It reminded me of a Melton snicker. I saw no 'snicker' or cavalier attitude from Barrett- Simon, Marchand Crissler ( hope I'm spelling his name correctly) or Mc Lemore. Please stay the course, Ms. Peterson, and show us all that the playground bully can be beaten. If you can do that, I promise, I'll never be apathetic again.

Author
JAR
Date
2006-09-06T00:54:34-06:00
ID
89012
Comment

I'm fixin to switch over to JFP's updated 'Melton story' blog. This blog's getting so long, it hurts my finger to scroll down. JFP, you're doing an AMAZING job of covering this story. Thank you so much.

Author
JAR
Date
2006-09-06T01:05:44-06:00
ID
89013
Comment

Ok, one last thing on this blog that I forgot to mention. I found it really wild that toward the end of the City Council's open session...before they went behind closed doors to discuss The Big Topic (Melton's sledghammer gang)... there was a touching 5 minutes or so devoted to the pre- recruiting to a Jax law firm of Kenneth Stokes' daughter. Evidently, she's a graduate of JSU and was recently accepted to Harvard Law School. Stokes was beeming. He was also sweating, but I think that's probably normal. I think that's lovely for the Stokes' family, but more approprietely discussed over lunch.

Author
JAR
Date
2006-09-06T01:58:02-06:00
ID
89014
Comment

New Clarion Ledger Poll: http://www.clarionledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/frontpage Should the Jackson Council investigate Mayor Frank Melton's actions? YES X no

Author
Cliff Cargill
Date
2006-09-06T08:33:31-06:00
ID
89015
Comment

I can only sit here read and sigh. Disbelief, not even sad just Disbelief..I was in Jackson for one day last week. I was able to look and see. But this isn't the time for my impressions which were actually quite good.......unlike this present crisis..........hang in there.

Author
ATLExile
Date
2006-09-06T08:47:11-06:00
ID
89016
Comment

Basketball injury caused me to miss all of this. We will see if Kenny is serious or just talking when he said get the drugs out by any means necessary. Look for any follow up to this.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-09-06T09:15:31-06:00
ID
89017
Comment

Does anyone know anything about the pending press conference @ 2:00, City Hall to address the Council's silence/inaction? C-L Story

Author
Brent Cox
Date
2006-09-08T11:49:36-06:00
ID
89018
Comment

1. Who are the "boys" riding on the FrankMobile and sledgehammering homes? Are they police units? If not, how can they ride on a police vehicle? Who is responsible for their behavior or felonies? The City of Jackson, you, me, taxpayors, etc? Surely there are rules about who can ride on the FrankMobile and have liability coverage. I assume the riders must be certified cops. Why has no one investigated this aspect? I suspect that Frank himself is probably not "covered" (in terms of liability insurance) to ride the FrankMobile. 2. I have tried to find Faye Peterson's e-mail. The best I can find is "District Attorney, Bad Check Unit." Does someone have a DIRECT e-mail to Ms. Peterson? HDMatthias, MD

Author
HDMatthias, MD
Date
2006-09-12T03:32:36-06:00
ID
89019
Comment

The Association of Alternative Newsweeklies is calling out Adam Lynch for breaking this story, which has led to all of these investigations. Needless to say, we are very, very proud of Adam, not to mention the rest of the reporting team!

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-12T17:22:33-06:00
ID
89020
Comment

"I can't imagine what else would lead Kenneth Stokes to abandon his entire ward like this. Ordinarily you would not expect to see Stokes smile big and say "OF COURSE the city can beat up random black teenagers and destroy property at will!," but that's what his silence tells us and I think that's horribly unfortunate." Tom, from what I have heard and read, Stokes' silence on the mayor's abberrant behavior is very atypical, thus implying that he has a motive for it. I suspect it is his own safety. I might have been ridiculed for suggesting this in the past, but does anyone here seriously think Melton isn't capable of making a very convincing threat against someone he wants to be quiet? The signs of trouble with this guy have been around a while, bizarre quasi-pedophiliac behavior, wanted persons living on this property, etc. This is always a risk of electing an ideologue rather than a conventional or machine politician, though melton is a rather extreme case and is in any event about to be out of a job, finally.

Author
Scott Thomas
Date
2006-09-15T17:28:20-06:00
ID
89021
Comment

Read an online American Journalism Review piece about online scoops -- such as the decision we made to break this story online before any other media outlet: Weeks later, a tipster leaked the news to the Denver Post. The Post's response to the information underscores the dramatic changes sweeping the journalism industry: It decided to run the exclusive first on its Web site (denverpost.com) on July 13 instead of waiting until the next morning's paper. It's not so long ago that such a decision would have been deemed heresy. The Post, traditionalists would have exclaimed, had foolishly "scooped itself." But in today's crowded and competitive media landscape, with newspaper companies repositioning themselves as information conglomerates that disseminate news via everything from ink-on-paper to the Internet to PDAs to cell phones, the move made perfect sense. (See "Adapt or Die," June/July.) It's also a reminder that the definitions of "scoop" and "exclusive" are evolving in the era of convergence. The Internet makes it much more dicey to hold a news story until your next edition; chances are greater than ever that someone will beat you to it. So investigative, enterprise and project stories have become the primary exclusives to be held for the print version. Post Editor Gregory L. Moore says increased competition from mainstream journalists as well as bloggers means that breaking news generally belongs on the Web. "My definition of a scoop has changed in the sense of how long you think you have a story exclusively," he says. "If you have a story for an hour, you need to make the most of that hour." This piece about daily media increasingly breaking stories alone makes WLBT's claim that they "broke" this story even more flimsy. And they know it.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-10-16T15:40:00-06:00

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