State Auditor Pickering comments on Hinds County DA Smith’s actions


JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The State Auditor of Mississippi is responding to recent actions made by the Hinds County District Attorney.

State Auditor Stacey E. Pickering says Hinds County DA Robert Shuler Smith’s actions are “unprecedented, unfounded and beyond explanation”.

State Auditor Pickering claims Smith has an “agenda or personal vendettas” and is using those to lead a Hinds County Grand Jury to take “unjust and wrong actions”.

He lists the following to question Smith’s actions:

  • In October 2015, the Hinds County District Attorney issued a subpoena for the files of an investigation that was not complete.  This action has never been taken by a prosecutor in Mississippi that we can find.
  • Karei McDonald and a second investigator met with Robert Shuler Smith personally to review the subpoenaed files and reports on October 21, 2015.  Smith personally signed a hand receipt for those files and agreed to allow the Office of State Auditor to continue working to complete the investigation
  • A letter from Karei McDonald was sent to Smith on October 27, 2015, to clarify and restate the discussions and actions agreed to at the October 21 meeting.
  • When it was communicated that the District Attorney was not satisfied, State Auditor Stacey Pickering requested a meeting with Robert Shuler Smith to resolve any misunderstandings or problems between the two offices.  Smith canceled the meeting and refused to meet with Auditor Pickering.
  • From that point forward, DA Smith began contacting, coaching and ultimately calling OSA staff before the Hinds County Grand Jury.

Pickering hopes that Smith will dismiss the indictments against Director Huggins and Deputy Director McDonald.

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