The impact on John Q. Public from the passage of the so-called “sunshine law” regarding the implementation of restrictions and oversight of the hiring of outside counsel attorneys by the Mississippi Attorney General’s office has been vastly overstated by Attorney General Jim Hood and, to a degree, by Hood’s Republican political antagonists who passed the law over his objections.
“If this bill passes, then agency heads with agendas and interests of their own will be allowed to pursue those interests on the taxpayers’ dime over the states interest as a whole with no oversight,” Hood said back in February when the handwriting was on the wall that this legislation was on the fast track to passage. “What you have here is nothing more than an attempt to weaken the power of the Attorney General and to create a ‘good ole boy’ system of doing legal business in this state.”
The truth is that the sky won’t fall in Mississippi merely because there is oversight of what has been a highly politicized process of hiring expert attorney to handle cases that were either too complex, too time-consuming or too resource intensive for the staff of the attorney general’s staff to handle.