Tupelo attorney Jim Waide wants judicial review of Tate Reeves’ meddling in embezzlement lawsuit

NEMiss.News Jim Waide (L) and Tate Reeves


Tupelo attorney Jim Waide has asked a judge to examine whether Gov. Tate Reeves has acted to protect himself and his political donors in the state welfare scandal.

Waide represents defendant Andrew Smith in a lawsuit in which the state is trying to recover some of the tens of millions of federal welfare dollars embezzled during the administration of former Gov. Phil Bryant.

Reeves fired attorney Brad Pigott, who had been hired by the Department of Human Services to try to recover some of the stolen money. Reeves objected to a subpoena in the case that Pigott had issued to the University of Southern Mississippi Athletic Foundation.

Waide contends that Reeves is meddling in the lawsuit to protect himself and political associates from responsibility in illegally directing five million dollars of federal welfare money to a volleyball stadium at the University of Southern Mississippi.

Jim Waide is one of the South’s long-time successful litigators. In a career spanning 50 years, Waide has won millions of dollars in judgements against scores of defendants in civil rights, employment discrimination and wrongful death lawsuits.

As a United States Marine Corps officer, Waide volunteered as a forward air observer during the Vietnam War. The work of a forward observer is considered some of the most hazardous of all military duties. Waide’s legal career has reflected the same aggressive and intrepid qualities.

Nine of his cases have been reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court, and he has never lost a case at the high court.

The story below is by Anna Wolfe. Her stories for Mississippi Today have revealed much about the $70-million or more embezzled during the Bryant Administration. The money was stolen from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, federal welfare funds intended for the poorest Mississippians.

Anna Wolfe’s story is republished below, with permission.


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