You can't help liking the guy
By By Suzanne Monk / managing editor
April 14, 2002
Regardless of whether you agree with Attorney General Mike Moore's politics, it's tough not to like him. He's a self-possessed man with a great deal of personal charm and a charismatic public speaker.
He doesn't so much sit on chairs as drape himself around them one moment slouching all the way to the end of the seat with his legs in front of him and staring at the ceiling as he considers an answer, the next kicking the chair back on two legs and rocking back and forth.
Moore likes talking and it shows.
It was good to hear him comment on Meridian's new spirit of optimism this week, as he visited last week at the beginning of a statewide Big Brothers-Big Sisters tour. In this, he echoes a number of state-level officials who have visited Meridian in recent months.
One interesting sidelight for me was Moore's admission that his office's prosecution of Dr. Walter Ocampo Anderson was flawed.
Anderson, a child psychologist, owned the Kids Connection in Meridian. He was indicted in November 1998 for Medicaid fraud. Moore alleged that the doctor had falsely billed Medicaid for almost $3.75 million between September 1997 and October 1998.
The attorney general was referring the the length of time almost a year between the point investigators from the Public Integrity Division began looking at Anderson's billing practices and the date of the indictment. Interestingly, defense attorney Dan Self had commented in the very beginning that "entrapment" would be part of the doctor's defense.
Having avoided jail time in the state prosecution, Anderson now faces trial on similar charges in U.S. District Court.
Cop shop: Applications for the position of assistant chief of the Meridian Police Department will be accepted until noon on Monday. A written test follows Wednesday at the training facility on Sandflat Road, and oral testing Friday at City Hall.
Sex offender: James Joseph Broderick has appealed his conviction on two counts of lustful touching and two counts of sexual battery to the Mississippi State Supreme Court. Circuit Judge Larry Roberts sentenced Broderick to 30 years in prison on March 29. Broderick is 61 years old.
The deadline to submit a complete trial record to the Supreme Court is June 4. It will be made up of a 300-page courtroom transcript and 70 pages of motions, correspondence and other paperwork.
Much too fast: Last week, we reported on a three-car accident on Fifth Street between the Lauderdale County jail and the courthouse.
Circuit Court workers can look out on the street from their second-floor windows. They say accidents happen there every two to three months and usually involve a car backing out of a parking space. But, they say, the real culprit is poorly timed traffic lights that allow drivers to work up speed on Fifth Street between 26th Avenue and the courthouse.
Catching up: The trial of Alden M. "Bubber" Wallace and several co-defendants is scheduled to take place July 8 in U.S. District Court.
The U.S. Department of Justice is the lead prosecutor in the case. Wallace is accused of violating the Fair Housing Act by segregating rental properties into "black" and "white" units. The trial was scheduled in March after settlement negotiations failed.
Synchronicity: It seems everywhere you look these days, you see carousel horses with names like "Giddy-up Van Gogh" and "Star-Spangled Pony." There is one other, apparently unrelated to the Around Town Carousels Abound public art project a full-size horse donated to the city and stored in the room where the Civil Service Commission meets. More on him later…