RELEASE:

HURST: Jim Hood Acting in Bad Faith
on Behalf of Mississippi

Federal Judge says Jim Hood acting in bad faith in Google case

JACKSON, MISS. — On Friday, U.S. District Judge Henry T. Wingate issued an order imposing a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against Attorney General Jim Hood, where Hood recently subpoenaed and threatened legal action against Google. Wingate also denied Hood’s request seeking to dismiss Google’s lawsuit against Hood. Referring to Hood’s actions, Wingate wrote “Google has presented significant evidence of bad faith . . . The court is persuaded that this conduct may evidence bad faith on the part of the Attorney General.”

According to the Associated Press and Clarion Ledger, “Hood said he probably would have retired if Google had left him alone” and “’If Google hadn’t jumped out there and sued me, I might have retired,’ Hood said.”

“It’s a sad day in our state when a federal judge has to impose a restraining order against our Attorney General and has to call out the bad faith actions of our Attorney General and his improper use of the legal system to bully others. Unfortunately, this is not the first time Jim Hood has acted in bad faith on behalf of the people of Mississippi. Mississippians need and deserve an Attorney General who will work in good faith every day to fight for them and their values. As Attorney General, I will fight for Mississippi every day. I won’t treat this position of public trust as a tool to settle a personal score, but rather will use it to clean up our state, uphold the Constitution and protect Mississippi values,” said Mike Hurst, the Republican candidate for Attorney General.

This is not the first time a federal judge has called Hood out for his tactics.

In 2009, U.S. District Judge Jack Weinstein of New York said fines and damages sought by Hood in a lawsuit against Eli Lilly & Company were unconstitutional and “grossly disproportionate”. Judge Weinstein’s order said, “the State’s claims could result in serious harm or bankruptcy for this defendant and the pharmaceutical industry generally….For the legal system to be used for this slash-and-burn-style of litigation would arguably constitute an abuse of the legal process….courts cannot be used as an engine of an industry’s destruction.”

And earlier that year, U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff also of New York wrote in a footnote of an order in a case involving Hood and his campaign contributors to whom Hood had given the state litigation contract: “The Court in not unaware of disturbing allegations that state entities not unlike MissPERS [the Mississippi state retirement system], and law firms not unlike Bernstein Litowitz, have engaged in “pay-for-play” arrangements, by which such an entity will not even consider hiring such a law firm unless the law firm has contributed to the campaign fund of the relevant state elected official, such as the attorney general.”

3/31/15