Monday, December 1, 2014

Meanwhile, in Federal Court...

While the rest of the state was breathlessly following Chris Epps’ federal indictment, things in Mississippi’s Northern District Federal Court got, well, bizarre.

First, back in early November, Judge Aycock found that the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality had violated the Clean Air Act by improperly issuing permits to the Mississippi Silicon plant in Burnsville.  A December hearing was scheduled to determine if she could halt construction on the plant – for which the state of Mississippi provided over $25 million in incentives to create 200make that 150 … jobs.

That’s when Nucor – which has two Mississippi facilities – took particular interest in court documents showing MDEQ permitting paper pusher Bonnie Morgan was actively working to keep their company from objecting to the Mississippi Silicon plant. Perhaps irked that the state was taking extraordinary lengths to single them out, they decided to join the lawsuit against Mississippi Silicon.

Around that time, the original plaintiffs turned their sights on MDEQ.  Based on Judge Aycock’s ruling that the state had violated federal law, the plaintiffs decided to include the state of Mississippi in the lawsuit for good measure. If you’re keeping scoring, that’s one new plaintiff – and one new, seriously irritated defendant.

That’s when things got interesting: Judge Aycock recused herself from the case. No reason was given.

In other news, State Auditor Stacey Pickering decided to rebut the Forbes Magazine article calling Mississippi the most corrupt state in the nation. His comedic timing could not have been more perfect.

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