Monday, February 13, 2012

BOMBSHELL - Speaker Gunn's financial incentive behind the "sunshine" bills

Well, now we know why Speaker Philip Gunn (R - Clinton) has it out for Attorney General Jim Hood and is trying to allow state agency heads to hire outside counsel themselves: he's angry his law firm didn't get a piece of the lawsuit against Big Pharmaceutical companies over their price-fixing scheme.  Funny, this is exactly the type of cronyism AG Hood warned us about last week.

Back in November of 2010, Russell Latino, III wrote a letter to former Governor Ronnie Musgrove, who was representing the State of Mississippi in the lawsuits.  Latino works at Wells, Marble, & Hurst, PLLC, where Speaker Gunn also works.  In the letter, Latino threatens to sue if the Division of Medicaid isn't allowed "to select and pay its own independent counsel to advise it throughout the remainder of the AWP litigation."  Sound familiar?

Well, Musgrove didn't back down, and Latino didn't sue.  And Latino didn't get to charge the taxpayers an hourly rate that would have go into the coffers of Wells, Marble, & Hurst, PLLC.  Had Gunn's "sunshine" law been in effect at the time, the taxpayers would have been hit with bills from the Speaker's employer, and quite likely would have missed out altogether on the $45,000,000.00 Musgrove has recovered for Mississippians thus far.

Here's a copy of the letter:

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