Monday, December 19, 2011

Rep. Brian Aldridge (R-Tupelo): Don't blame me, judge, I just wrote the checks

Rep. Brian Aldridge (R-Tupelo)
You may recall a couple of stories about Rep. Brian Aldridge's legal troubles back in late August.  If not, you should take a second and read about them here and here.  In short, Aldridge is being accused by his aunt of stealing half a million dollars from her by funneling it through "Touched By an Angel Ministries."  Aldridge's parents are also defendants in a chancery court lawsuit the aunt has filed to get an accounting of what happened to the money.  Shortly after that news broke, Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann (R) ordered Rep. Aldridge to get in compliance with reporting laws and to pay $21,424.19 in back taxes to the IRS.

Anyway, earlier this month, the courtroom drama continued, and we got a new defense out of Rep. Aldridge. Here's an excerpt from Patsy Brumfield's story on it that sums it up:
Chancellor Michael Malski, who asked his own questions during the hearing, seemed mystified that Brian Aldridge was the charity's chief executive officer for 15 years and never knew anything about its finances controlled by his father.

"What you're telling the court is that you would rather look the other way as CEO of a corporation rather than buck your father?" Malski said during Brian Aldridge's testimony.

"I don't know if I'd say, look the other way," the state legislator said. "All I can say ... I just didn't put my focus there, I put my energy elsewhere, which was those camps."
Now, how was the money spent?  Well, according to the article, on things like clothes, a cruise, a timeshare, and a trip to Hawaii.

If that's not the definition of fiscal conservatism, I'm not sure what is.  And with his lengthy track record in the House (he came in with Philip Gunn in 2004), this man deserves to be in leadership.

This is a story that's likely to be with us for quite some time.


bill said...

Matt, this is a good story all the way up to the point where you clumsily try to tie Aldridge to Gunn, apparently because they were both elected to the House in the same year. Weak...that one silly reference makes me question the veracity of the entire post. Everything doesn't have to be about Philip Gunn, does it? I'm assuming that since you didn't delve deeper into it that there is no real connection between the two. Bill Billingsley

Cottonmouth said...


The point is that time helps us vet leaders. As we're finding out, a lot of problems don't start arising until 8 years in.

If you doubt the veracity of the post, go back and read the source articles.

bill said...

Sorry, Matt. Bad choice of words. Substitute intent for veracity. I didn't mean to question your facts - I'm sure they're accurate. My point was that there was absolutely no reason to try to tie Gunn to anything Aldridge has done, and you have essentially agreed with me. Bill

Cottonmouth said...

Ah, I gotcha. And no, Philip Gunn didn't have anything to do with the alleged theft by Touched by an Angel Ministries in Tupelo.

Gunn did, apparently, have something to do with covering up the "Touched by a Minister" mess in Clinton.