Governor Reeves Addresses Non-Renewal of Pigott’s Legal Services Contract with MDHS | Mississippi Politics and Current Affairs
Reeves said Mississippi doesn’t need legal representation that focuses on trying to be an informant for a “left-wing blog.”
Thursday, the governor Tate Reeves looked in depth at the non-renewal of Mississippi Department of Social Services outside attorney Brad Pigott’s legal services contract that sent some media into a frenzy.
MDHS is seeking to recover millions of welfare dollars spent through civil action. This is the largest case of waste, fraud and abuse ever investigated by the state auditor.
Last week, Pigott was informed by MDHS that his one-year contract would be terminated and not renewed. MDHS Executive Director Bob Anderson told Y’all Politics that Pigott made decisions about the litigation and filed pleadings without any prior dialogue with MDHS officials.
“When it becomes apparent that the client and attorney are not on the same page, the client has every right to find another attorney,” Anderson said.
The non-renewal led Pigott to take to Mississippi Today to claim the decision was politically motivated, telling the outlet, “I’m sure they can find a loyal Republican attorney to do the job.”
Since then, the media establishment has sought to paint Reeves in light of Pigott’s claims.
But Governor Reeves told a press panel at the Neshoba County Fair that the way Pigott has acted since his non-renewal proves he was more interested in pursuing a political angle and gaining press exposure. only to represent the state correctly.
“I didn’t go to law school and I’m not that smart, but I heard about attorney-client privilege,” Reeves said. “The manner in which the attorney has acted since his contract was not renewed has proven to many people why he is the absolute wrong person to represent the state. He is not the right person to represent the taxpayers. .
Governor Reeves went on to say that some media outlets had ‘made things up’ about Pigott’s non-renewal, adding that the state doesn’t need legal representation that focuses on trying to be an informant. for a “left-wing blog”.
“He’s much more interested in pursuing a political angle than focusing on what’s best for the state,” Reeves said. “There’s media just making stuff up about why he wasn’t renewed. I just made it up and he’s quoted in every article. We don’t need a lawyer who is trying to be a confidential informant or a source for a leftist blog. We need an attorney who is focused on protecting the interests of Mississippi taxpayers. Period.”
Governor Reeves has firmly stated that he is committed to completing the case, no matter where it leads, with the goal of recovering any funds that were improperly spent through MDHS.
According to Governor Reeves and State Auditor Shad White, Mississippi’s investigation into the MDHS scandal has been reviewed by federal authorities, including the FBI, and is also being handled by state prosecutors in the DA’s office. General and the Hinds County Attorney’s Office. All interested parties will continue to be involved.
Regarding MDHS and new outside legal services, Governor Reeves said MDHS would not hire another “semi-retired solo practitioner” like Pigott, but would hire a more capable law firm to prosecute the affair. He said the announcement is imminent.
You can watch Governor Reeves’ full remarks below.