Breaking: Setback for Melton in Meridian Suit | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Breaking: Setback for Melton in Meridian Suit

UPDATED

In a June 23 decision, U.S. District Judge Tom S. Lee granted Gannett's motion for summary judgment on whether Robert Pierce can join a law suit filed by Frank Melton for breach of contract, finding that there was no enforceable contract between Melton and Goliath.

This is a complicated one folks, so let me try to break it down for you. The core case in question is the lawsuit filed by former MBN officials against Frank Melton for leaking a potentially libelous memo to Ana Radelat of The Clarion-Ledger. The court has already found against Melton in that case because he lied about being the source of the memo. When the judge ordered Radelat to reveal her source, she admitted that it was Frank Melton. Melton then explained to the judge that he had lied as a reporter protecting his "source." The judge was not impressed, and he pointed out that even if Melton had acted as a reporter, that gave him absolutely no right to lie to the court in depositions. The judge ruled against Melton, and the case has been in the penalty phase ever since.

This year, however, Melton filed a suit against The Clarion-Ledger, arguing that Goliath had breached a contract with him. The alleged contract was that Ann Radelat had promised Melton not to disclose the contents of the memo until she had verified that it was true.

Now, the judge has rejected that argument--his decision applies to Pierce, but presumably he will find the same with respect to Melton. Judge Lee cites precedent arguing that no contract existed: We are not persuaded that in the special milieu of media newsgathering a source and a reporter ordinarily believe they are engaged in making a legally binding contract. They are not thinking of offers and acceptances in any commercial or business sense. The parties understand that the reporter's promise of anonymity is given as a moral commitment, but a moral obligation alone will not support a contract. ... In other words, contract law seems an ill fit for a promise of news source confidentiality.

If there was no contract between Radelat and Melton, Pierce cannot join the suit as a party that was damaged by the breach of contract. Furthermore, Melton's law suit against The Clarion-Ledger is a dead duck. It was never a compelling moral argument in any case. Melton was essentially suing Goliath for printing the memo he himself leaked. It's no surprise that the court was unconvinced.

Since there has been discussion of the issue here, we have posted the deposition of Grace Simmons Fisher. The part Adam cited in the thread starts around page 44.

Previous Comments

ID
122448
Comment

Surprise surprise, Melton was wrong! He tried to pass the buck off on the CL and it seems to have backfired. It kinda makes you wonder just how powerful an attorney that Danks really is. It's still not too late however to turn the rest of Meltons mistakes around. He could begin by getting a real police chief and let them run the police department. He could get a fire chief that dosen't walk around carrying a tobacco sp!t cup with a can of Skoals. He could rehire the lobbying firm that he replaced with the very young and inexperienced Marcus Ward. He could lift that senseless curfew that appparently isn't working. It's a shame that the only people that Melton listens to wear long black robes. It took more than a few judges to put him in office. Mayby a judge is what it will take to put him out of office.

Author
lance
Date
2006-06-26T15:12:54-06:00
ID
122449
Comment

You'd think a businessman would know a verbal contract isn't enforceable.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2006-06-26T17:15:11-06:00
ID
122450
Comment

Oral contracts actually are enforceable -- presuming, as with a written contract, that all the legal requirements of a contract (offer, acceptance, consideration) exist. Obviously, written contracts are easier to "prove up." This was actually a separate lawsuit -- one in which Melton is not a party. Pierce was arguing that he was a beneficiary of the purported contract between Melton and Radalet and was entitled to damages from Gannett due to Radelet's breach of that contract. Since the "contract" was deemed not to exist, Melton's separate lawsuit is, as Brian described it, "a dead duck." A good opinion from Judge Lee. Newt

Author
Newt
Date
2006-06-26T20:43:23-06:00
ID
122451
Comment

It seems very Melton-esque to throw around official-sounding legal terms like "verbal contract" that fall apart when put under scrutiny by anyone who knows what they are talking about.

Author
Darren Schwindaman
Date
2006-06-27T06:27:58-06:00
ID
122452
Comment

Lance said: It's a shame that the only people that Melton listens to wear long black robes. It took more than a few judges to put him in office. Mayby a judge is what it will take to put him out of office. Very funny. You made me laugh and I've hardly had any coffee. You can't really blame Danks for this failure, though, and it didn't so much "backfire" as it fell flat on its face. For what it's worth, it was, in my amateur opinion, an interesting approach to an all but impossible mission: somehow, Melton did nothing wrong and this was all The Clarion-Ledger's fault. But there's no way to finesse the facts: Melton leaked a libelous memo. He's already lost the core case, and it is going to cost him money.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2006-06-27T09:33:04-06:00
ID
122453
Comment

It's funny that The Clarion-Ledger is now running stories about the Meridian mess (buried) now that they are no longer wound up with Melton in it. I still can't get over them not reporting on the lawsuit during Melton's campaign—knowing full well that he was lying about not leaking the memo to them. The public deserved to know their potential mayor was a liar. To boot, they then endorsed, knowing full well that he had leaked an inaccurate memo about an MBN agent to their reporters and then lied to a judge about it. Hmmmm. Their story today. (We love scooping them on stories about themselves, by the way.)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-06-27T12:11:26-06:00
ID
122454
Comment

I agree Brian: it was a very creative way to try and get the law to allow something that made no sense.

Author
Newt
Date
2006-06-27T14:13:43-06:00
ID
122455
Comment

As one of Gannett's attorneys in both the Pierce and Melton lawsuits, I'd like to comment on a couple of points made in the article and in Ms. Ladd's post. First, no court - & not even the State Auditor - has ever held that the official MBN investigative report which Melton now admits he "leaked" to Ana Radelat is "libelous." Pierce alleged that the memo & the Clarion-Ledger's article about it were libelous, but that allegation has never been proven or admitted. Indeed, among many other defenses to Pierce's lawsuit, the Gannett defendants asserted that the report and the newspaper article were true. Second, I have no input into the Clarion-Ledger's endorsement decisions, but I can say that during the mayoral race (1) Clarion-Ledger editors did NOT know that Melton was Radelat's source; and (2) even had they known at that time that Melton was lying they could not have disclosed that fact without breaching Radelat's promise of confidentiality [that she would not reveal the identity of her source] to Melton. The Lauderdale County Circuit Court, where Pierce's lawsuit against Melton was filed, ordered Radelat to disclose the identity of her source in June 2005, and Radelat appealed that order but the appeal was later dismissed. After that order was entered, Melton changed his story and admitted that he was Radelat's source for the document. When Radelat was finally deposed in Arlington, Virginia, by Pierce's attorney in October 2005, she initially refused to answer questions concerning the identity of her source, because Melton - that very morning - had expressly refused to release Radelat from her pledge of confidentiality, notwithstanding his own intervening public statements that he had in fact provided the report to Radelat. In response to a pointed inquiry to Melton's lawyers by one of Radelat's attorneys at the deposition, a recess was taken, during which Melton personally released Radelat from her pledge not to reveal his identity; thereafter Ms Radelat testified freely on the subject.

Author
John Sneed
Date
2006-06-27T16:02:57-06:00
ID
122456
Comment

Mr. Sneed, thanks for posting. It's nice to communicate with you about something other than your clients' TDN scheme. I see your point about Brian's use of "libelous" above. We will change it to "potentially libelous," based on the state auditor's ruling that the allegations made in it were largely false. As for my opinion about Gannett's endorsement—funny I was just having a conversation with someone here about that. First, I am rather blown away that The Clarion-Ledger would publish that story without at least one editor knowing the source of those allegations against those men. Wow. I know the sources of all information that goes into my paper, including those that we protect. Secondly, I get the point about breaching their reporter's confidentiality with Mr. Melton. I also make those kinds of deals, including with Mr. Melton. However, there is an entire discussion to be had about at what point those kinds of agreements change. For instance, did anything change in April 2003 when the state auditor made his ruling? And I'm really bothered by the idea that Mr. Melton was lying in legal proceedings during the campaign, and The Clarion-Ledger wasn't even reporting about the legal proceedings againt him at that point, much less the untruths. I do understand that he likely admitted it when he did because he knew he would soon get busted for it. All that said, though, my original point still stands. I believe that a newspaper editor should know who confidential sources are. If they happen to be (a) lying and (b) running for office, then said editorial board should take such lies into consideration -- even if they do not feel that they can reveal that part to the public. It's not as if the editorial board could not have found other stretches of the truth to support a concern about integrity had they so wished. But it is interesting to hear that no Clarion-Ledger editor actually knew that Melton was Radelat's source. That is a remarkable, remarkable revelation to me. Really. It must be very interesting to be a reporter and operate with such autonomy, especially when it comes to anonymous sources. And from reading the depositions, it seems that the paper lost no time slapping that memo into print without knowing the source of it.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-06-27T16:39:59-06:00
ID
122457
Comment

Wait, I should have said April 2005 when the auditor made his ruling -- during the campaign. Apologies.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-06-27T16:52:34-06:00
ID
122458
Comment

"I know the sources of all information that goes into my paper, including those that we protect." Well, maybe so - but I'll bet that you print pieces from wire services without knowing the identities of any confidential sources on whom the wire service reporter relied. Ana Radelat works for Gannett News Service which, in addition to making copy available for Gannett papers, is released on the GSN wire [just like AP] for GSN subscribers to use. Ms. Radelat's editors at GSN [in Washington] knew the identity of her source, but the local editors in Jackson treated the article we're discussing just as they would a story they picked up off the AP or Reuters wire. That is, they did not edit the story for factual accuracy, source identity, etc. Nor, of course, were they required to do so -- a newspaper cannot be held liable for inaccuracies [not conceding there were any] in a wire service report so long as the paper does not have actual knowledge of falsity. That is one of the journalistic principles that "Goliath" was fighting for in the Pierce lawsuit. Pierce argued that local newspapers are required to fully investigate wire service reports before publishing them. Now, if that were the law, it would literally stop the presses. Pierce also argued that a newspaper cannot publish statements made in official documents unless it first independently investigates the matter & verifies the accuracy of the statements in a public document. You know that is not a newspaper's job -- it is this "fair report" privilege that allows JFP to report that Melton alleged in his complaint against Gannett that Radelat breached a contract with him, without having to first talk to Radelat and find out whether what Melton says about her is true.

Author
John Sneed
Date
2006-06-27T16:59:55-06:00
ID
122459
Comment

And the State Auditor simply found, in April 2005, that there had not been any violation of state law in connection with the transfer of the airplanes -- he did not make any finding that the allegations in the MBN report were either true or false.

Author
John Sneed
Date
2006-06-27T17:03:47-06:00
ID
122460
Comment

Actually, Mr. Sneed, I print very little from wire services. I can't think of a "wire" story I've printed that used confidential sources. Our association contracts for big investigative pieces from time to time, but editors work with those writers to know the sources and vet them. I know that y'all maintain that Radelat did not work for The Clarion-Ledger (I've read all the depositions and such), but for GSN (sounds a little like "TDN"). But she had long been listed in the paper as a reporter for the Clarion-Ledger Washington Bureau. And it's not like we're talking about a national story coming out of Washington here. We're talking about a story coming from right here in Jackson. I find it very hard to believe, as others have, that no editor here knew the source of that memo. However, for the sake of this discussion, I will suspend that disbelief. The bigger point to me here is the one you raise—that The Clarion-Ledger assigns "GSN" reporters to cover stories here in Jackson, doesn't ask the identity of their local sources and then distances from them when those sources go sour. That's intriguing to me. I can't quite imagine treating such a story, about real, living, breathing Mississippians, as just another wire service that doesn't need to be factchecked. The habits of corporate media continually befuddle me. As for your "principle" you're fighting for, you can look at that from a different perspective. Let's say the reporter was assigned the story and perhaps given the memo locally and worked with a local editor to get it in the paper quickly. Should that still be protected by that wire-service principle you're pushing for? How many papers does Ms. Radelat contribute to on a regular basis? She must keep busy as a GSN reporter. I understand the "fair report" privilege, and have used it often. Do not misunderstand what I'm saying—I've never argued that The Clarion-Ledger or Radelat should be held responsible legally for reporting this story—unless they violated the law in some way. And I don't want law rewritten for them. However, that does not provide some sort of blanket protection—that one can just crawl under a wire-service umbrella and be protected. And my bigger point, which you came on here to refute, is that The Clarion-Ledger editors should have known that Melton was lying and factoring that into their decision about that endorsement of him, not to mention the pitiful way they covered his campaign. As I understand it, the editor who worked with Radelat was the same one who made the decisions about the way his campaign was covered, no? As for the auditor findings, I'll have to go back and re-read it all before going further with that. After my paper goes to press.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-06-27T17:21:31-06:00
ID
122461
Comment

Too bad the CL has to come here and tell the truth, rather than to their readers.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2006-06-27T17:27:19-06:00
ID
122462
Comment

You do make an interesting point, Iron. We're glad to have Mr. Sneed with us, though. I suggest that others throw questions out that you may have. Hopefully, all these inquisitive bloggers won't scare him off.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-06-27T17:29:31-06:00
ID
122463
Comment

A point of interest: An August 24, 2005 deposition of Clarion-Ledger editor Grace Simmons reveals that Simmons did assume that Melton was the source of the memo, despite Mr. Sneed's argument that editors had no knowledge. In the deposition, attorney Mike Farrell asked Simmons: "On April 17th or the 18th or shortly after the (April 18) story ran, did you call Frank Melton and complain to him that he had given the memo to Ms. Radelat and not to you?" Simmons replied: "Yes, I did." Farrell asked: "Now, wait. If you didn't know her (Radelat's) source, how did you know to call Mr. Melton?" Simmon replied: "I assumed." Farrell then asks Simmons why she bothered complaining to Melton in the first place and Simmons responded that Simmons, as a reporter for Gannett News Service, was "perceived as a competitor" to the Clarion-Ledger and that the Clarion-Ledger had local reporters he could've called. Simmons said Melton told her that he'd assumed Radelat worked for the Clarion-Ledger.

Author
Adam Lynch
Date
2006-06-27T18:23:19-06:00
ID
122464
Comment

Hmmm, if that's the case, it seems like the argument that The Clarion-Ledger editors did not know it was Melton, and that he was lying to the court, when they wrote the endorsement of him is rather weak. Mr. Sneed?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-06-27T18:58:35-06:00
ID
122465
Comment

Furthermore, in a Sept. 17, 2005 deposition from Frank Melton in the Earl Pierce and Jimmy Saxton v Frank Melton and Warren Buchanan lawsuit Melton tells attorney Mike Farrell that after he got the call of chastisement from Simmons he immediately called Clarion-Ledger editor Ronnie Agnew about the matter. Melton: ...When she (Simmons) called me, she only fussed at me about not sending it (the memo) over there, which was not my intentions, (Melton claims in the same deposition that he'd intended to fax the memo to the Washington Post, and thought that's where Radelat worked) because they didn't ask me for it, but I did immediately pick up the phone and I called Ron Agnew, and I said, 'Ron, we've got a problem here.' And --and I said, 'I have issued some information under privilege, under confidentiality, under the fact that it was not to be printed, and now I'm getting a call from one of your reporters and--and that--you violated my privilege.' And that's the conversation I had with Agnew.

Author
Adam Lynch
Date
2006-06-27T19:14:27-06:00
ID
122466
Comment

The plot thickens.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-06-27T19:39:17-06:00
ID
122467
Comment

I'm still plagued by Mr. Sneed's statement that the editors did not know the source—and thus could not have taken this into consideration when they endorsed Mr. Melton. In her deposition, we have Grace Simmons (state/metro editor, right?) admitting that she called Melton about the leaked memo, then Melton says he called Agnew about it. Now assuming that Melton's statement could be fabricated—on what planet would Simmons not have talked to Agnew about all this!?! Even if she didn't talk to him when it happened, would she not have talked to him when the memo was questioned. And surely she would have brought this up during Melton's campaign, wouldn't she!?! Are the editors truly that out of touch with what goes on in their newsroom? I'm making no allegations here, understand. I don't know who is being truthful in those depositions and who isn't. But I do find the notion absurd that the editors should not have known that Melton (a) leaked the memo and (b) was lying about leaking it when they decided who to endorse for the mayor's office. And if they didn't know, that is the most disconcerting thing I've heard about this, yet. Corporate media is simply a different animal.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-06-27T20:28:09-06:00
ID
122468
Comment

There's quite a difference between "knowing" and "assuming". Grace Simmons Fisher testified that she "assumed" Melton had given the memo to Ana Radelat & so she called Frank to complain; he neither admitted nor denied to Grace that he was Radelat's source. That does not mean that Grace Fisher knew that Melton was the source. On April 18, 2003, the day the story was published, my "assumption" is that 90% of the folks who read it "assumed" Melton was the source. However, Radelat didn't tell Fisher the identity of her source, Fisher didn't ask, and there was no reason she would have - she didn't edit the story. So, no, Grace didn't know that Melton was the source. And remember - the story was published in April 03, but there was virtually no activity in Pierce's lawsuit vs. Melton until Spring 05, and so far as I know, nothing much to cover by the press except the original filing. The lawsuit vs Gannett wasn't served until April 05, it was removed to federal court & there was no substantive activity until after a case management conference at the end of June 05. Meanwhile, Radelat had been ordered by the Lauderdale County judge to testify in a ruling issued on June 8 2005; Melton changed his discovery responses [the original, false answers were NOT a publicly filed document at that time, but certainly could have been obtained from the parties' counsel] - and thus admitted he had been lying - only AFTER both the election and court order requiring Radelat to testify.

Author
John Sneed
Date
2006-06-28T09:29:21-06:00
ID
122469
Comment

Ah, I see. That sounds great for a legal defense for the paper, but it still doesn't quell my concerns about why the editors did not "know" or question whether the man they were endorsing for mayor (a) gave a potentially false memo to the paper and (b) then lied about it. Do those editors really not talk to each other—including about memos that could ruin people and their careers. Oh, and as for the "fair report" rule, just because you can doesn't always mean you should. I have "official" documents I have yet to publish because I have not verified their contents. Just sayin'.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-06-28T10:03:04-06:00
ID
122470
Comment

Correct me if I'm wrong... This sat around for two years without anyone checking to see if the allegations were true? It took a Lawsuit and Melton's mercurial personality for the truth to bubble up? That the Ledger simply took it all for granted? I understand there's some blame to be ducked here, but this all reads to me like there's some seriously sloppy procedure at the CL these days. It sounds like you're admitting there was some confusion over the origin back in 2003, yet no one thought to double-check. In my opinion, and my two classes of journalism at MC, that's bad.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2006-06-28T10:05:17-06:00
ID
122471
Comment

Yes, you're wrong.

Author
John Sneed
Date
2006-06-28T10:47:04-06:00
ID
122472
Comment

here is a good one to ask... if the editors had known that melton had lied under oath(as opposed to waiting for a judge to so conclude) how would they have caused knowledge of that fact to be reported??and, with such knowledge would it have caused them not to endorse his candidacy over johnson's??

Author
chimneyville
Date
2006-06-28T10:54:32-06:00
ID
122473
Comment

"There's quite a difference between "knowing" and "assuming". Grace Simmons Fisher testified that she "assumed" Melton had given the memo to Ana Radelat & so she called Frank to complain; he neither admitted nor denied to Grace that he was Radelat's source. That does not mean that Grace Fisher knew that Melton was the source. On April 18, 2003, the day the story was published, my "assumption" is that 90% of the folks who read it "assumed" Melton was the source." Sneed We know what happens when you "assume" something! "Meanwhile, Radelat had been ordered by the Lauderdale County judge to testify in a ruling issued on June 8 2005; Melton changed his discovery responses [the original, false answers were NOT a publicly filed document at that time, but certainly could have been obtained from the parties' counsel] - and thus admitted he had been lying - only AFTER both the election and court order requiring Radelat to testify." Well, isn't that convienent? How come the Ledge declined to report at all on this story until the Meridian paper and local TV had already done so? Wasn't the original lawsuit against Melton filed long before the election? As you point out the Ledge wasn't sued by Melton until Spring '05. Yet, they still could have reported that Melton was being sued by his former employees. The only thing stopping them was the editors desire to see Melton elected. I guess you see no conflict of interest when the paper endorses a candidate they know is suing them, as of April '05, without disclosing that fact to the public until sometime after the election held in May '05?

Author
pikersam
Date
2006-06-28T11:16:45-06:00
ID
122474
Comment

Well, Iron makes an interesting point even if Mr. Sneed says he's wrong. Again, my issue isn't whether or not The Clarion-Ledger is legally responsible for anything wrong—we have judges to make that decision. What I can't fathom is the Ledge editor (Simmons) assuming the memo came from Melton. Didn't she ask the reporter? Do they have a policy against asking the reporter? Did he not confirm when she called that it did? And if not, was this still not big enough a concern for The Clarion-Ledger to look into it—at least at the point that he was running for mayor and they had to decide whether he was honest enough to endorse!?! And is The Clarion-Ledger's contention that Mr. Melton was lying in his deposition about calling Agnew and telling him? We could believe that—but it still doesn't explain Ms. Simmons' actions (or non-actions) very well. What an interesting can of worms you've opened for our readers, Mr. Sneed—and at a time when they had about forgotten about all this!

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-06-28T12:36:31-06:00
ID
122475
Comment

And I agree with Pike—The Clarion-Ledger's silence on this whole issue during the campaign was downright deafening.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-06-28T12:37:20-06:00
ID
122476
Comment

I have good reason to believe the conversation with Agnew that Melton described in his deposition did not occur as described by the Mayor.

Author
John Sneed
Date
2006-06-28T13:03:09-06:00
ID
122477
Comment

That's believable, certainly, but it doesn't explain why Ms. Simmons did not communicate with Ms. Agnew about her, er, hunch that Mr. Melton was the source ... and then was later lying about it. You said already that The Clarion-Ledger did not know he was the source. My question will remain: Why the @#$% not?!? Isn't there some sort of policy over there on how confidential sources are treated? And, while on the topic, I've always thought it remarkable that Ms. Simmons was the editor on Melton campaign coverage even as she was being sued in the case involving him -- a case in which, at the time, their testimonies affected each other's cases.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-06-28T13:09:34-06:00
ID
122478
Comment

You are the Director of the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics - not just a "joe blow" in the operation, you are your State's CEO for this delicate position. How in the he$$ can your "journalistic affiliation" take prescience over your duty and responsibility to the employees of MBN?? Did Gov. Musgrove know that the MBN Director would be wearing two hats and issues relative to HIPPA laws would take a back seat to a hot juicy story (true or untrue) about members of your staff?? I have this one question for Mr. Sneed and the CL. What was/were the determining factor(s) encouraging the endorsement of Frank Melton for Mayor of the City of Jackson?? It is simply now good enough to think that known or not known about this 1 (one) lie caused the CL told make this endorsement. An easier answer might be: The CL did not endorse Johnson because (fill in the blanks) (1)____________, (2)___________, (3)_________, (4) _________,and (5)__________________. ( You may use the back of this sheet if you need more space for your answers.)

Author
justjess
Date
2006-06-28T14:04:23-06:00
ID
122479
Comment

Let's remind everyone of The Clarion-Ledger endorsement of Melton. Here are some money quotes: We believe Frank Melton offers the type of dynamic leadership Jackson needs to help it move ahead and thrive at this point in the city's history. While Johnson is excellent at planning and handling the mundane details of municipal government, he has not tended to the big picture. And, tending to the big picture means aggressively attacking Jackson's No. 1 issue — crime. While the mayor is correct in his assertions that crime has dropped statistically (as it has nationwide) and that there are more police on the streets, crime still is the major hindrance to economic development and quality of life and the major contributor to suburban flight. Whether hard numbers or perceptions, the effect is the same. Questions about public safety undermine Jackson's best efforts. [...] Melton has worked on the crime problem, especially drug-related crime, for more than a decade, cajoling, criticizing officials, advocating aggressive change and working with kids on the streets. While he has been criticized for not making more arrests as director of the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, at least the people of Mississippi knew the agency was aggressively taking action. The same can't be said of Jackson's law enforcement leadership. Jackson needs a mayor who will make crime-fighting a priority, will not tolerate crime in any form and will instill public confidence — that the city's law enforcement officials are doing all they possibly can to keep the public safe. [...] This newspaper has not always agreed with Melton. He tends to shoot from the hip and, at times, relies too heavily on the force of his personality. But no one can doubt his motivations, commitment and dogged work ethic. Melton exudes action and this city needs action. Jackson needs to dash ahead and not continue to plod. There may be questions or disagreements about what Melton may do, but at least we know he will do something. Frank Melton offers strong, dynamic, decisive leadership. We recommend Frank Melton in the Democratic Primary for Jackson mayor.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-06-28T14:09:42-06:00
ID
122480
Comment

By way of contrast here's what the Jackson Free Press was saying about Melton during the same period: Houston, We Have a Problem The Sound and Fury of 'Perception' JFP Endorsements: Vote for Progress Fear Is a Four-Letter Word The Mayor's Race That Wasn't If Melton's Pro-Jackson ... Just sayin'.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-06-28T14:14:26-06:00
ID
122481
Comment

It's like a modern MacBeth! They will never be able to wash the blood from their hands. Not to mention how they ignored countless articles they wrote about Melton's character, the FBI, and his dealings with Chief Wilson in the 90's. As if it never happened! Blunston and the juvy jails, the rape, the favors, the Peter's payback. All forgotten memories. Did they endorse Blunston?

Author
pikersam
Date
2006-06-28T14:22:34-06:00
ID
122482
Comment

You are right, Pike. They did not search their own archives on Mr. Bluntson, either.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-06-28T14:28:20-06:00
ID
122483
Comment

And for what it's worth, Ms. Simmons' byline appears above a good number of stories from the says of the juvenile detention center controversy. So they can't claim ignorance.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-06-28T14:29:14-06:00
ID
122484
Comment

Yes, you're wrong. About what, Mr Sneed? I understand you might not want to be critical of your client (Radelat), but it is a good point that this sat around unexplored for two years, until the Media in Meridian broke the story. Oh, and I find it clever you're quoted in her May 11, 2006 article on the Wallace confirmation. Google is a fascinating device...

Author
Ironghost
Date
2006-06-28T14:40:15-06:00
ID
122485
Comment

Wow! That is really amazing! So bad, so really bad! What a tangled web they have spun.

Author
pikersam
Date
2006-06-28T14:44:55-06:00
ID
122486
Comment

Do you have a link, Iron? Oh, and we explored it before the Meridian Star broke it, Iron. Just giving credit where it's due. ;-)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-06-28T14:46:41-06:00
ID
122487
Comment

We just updated this story with the deposition of Grace Simmons Fisher. Check it out.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2006-06-28T16:17:00-06:00
ID
122488
Comment

My personal favorite comment from Ms. Simmons is on page 42, when she says she had just learned the identity of who provided the memo: "Based on an article I saw in the Mississippi Press and our attorney told us." So, she learned for sure that Mr. Melton was the confidential source for the story in her paper years later—and in the Jackson Free Press? (I get the name of her paper wrong from time to time, too, for the record.) Glad to be of service.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-06-28T16:34:44-06:00
ID
122489
Comment

Crickets are chirping here. Mr. Sneed, where are you? The discussion was just getting interesting.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-06-30T12:54:02-06:00

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