Chancery Court Judge Jennifer Schloegel questions in a statement filed with the Mississippi Supreme Court whether State Auditor Stacey Pickering, Attorney General Jim Hood and the U.S. Attorney’s Office have committed fraud on the court and abused the grand jury process.
Schloegel filed her statement Monday in a public records lawsuit the Sun Herald brought against the auditor, his office, and the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources. Schloegel ruled Oct. 31 that DMR records the Sun Herald seeks are public and had to be copied for the newspaper. The auditor, who had seized the records, agreed to copy them.
“The events that took place next raise serious questions of contempt, ethics, professionalism, the duty of candor to the court, fraud upon the court, abuse of the court’s subpoena powers and abuse of the grand jury process,” Schloegel’s statement says.
After Schloegel ruled the DMR records were public, Assistant U.S. Attorney John Dowdy Jr. secured a subpoena, dated Nov. 4, commanding that the records be brought to a grand jury in Jackson the next morning.