A news analysis …
Fired officer's hearing halted
Sturdivant had hoped to set a new date to continue the hearing while all the commissioners, attorneys and witnesses were still present but that turned out not to be possible.
NOTES FROM THE HEARING
Everyone involved in the hearing was very polite and professional. Great efforts were made to inform Rita Jack of how the hearing would be conducted. Jack, on her part, was calm and addressed both the
commission and the witness with courtesy.
Jack's husband, Martin, attended the hearing. He is an inspector for the city of Meridian. Several other members of her family were also there, including her two children, her father, two sisters, two brothers, a
brother-in-law and a niece.
What Jack's father, Pastor Lee K. Pope Sr., said: "I d
on't believe none of it. I know what kind of girl me and my wife raised. We didn't raise her to take something that didn't belong to her."
What Jack's brother, Assistant Pastor Lee K. Pope Jr., said: "They took the word of a person who confessed … I didn't hear any proof."
Jack now works as a security guard at a local hospital.
The amount of money involved in the alleged thefts is $1,842 $1,600 that Jack and Vivian Groves allegedly split and $242 that Jack allegedly stole on her own.
Groves and Jack have known each other since elementary school.
City attorney Lee Thaggard asked for a short recess before his cross-examination of Groves. He had left his notes back at the office. Luckily, his law firm, Bourdeaux and Jones, is just around the corner from Union Station.
A court reporter is taking down every word of the hearing. Mike Segura usually works for Chancery Judge Sarah Springer. His hobby is building monster trucks. His latest creation, "Tower Ranger," has appeared locally at the Christmas parade, Arts in the Park and the Big Boy Toy Show. Segura said he's on the road almost every weekend, and drives the truck himself. He has a Web site: www.towerranger.com.
Sturdivant invoked "The Rule" as she dismissed the witnesses. It requires them not to discuss the case with anyone before the hearing