Saturday, February 25, 2006

MISSISSIPPI SHERIFF FACING FEDERAL MISDEMEANOR CHARGES A FOLK HERO TO MANY FOR WHAT HE DID

With all the missteps and general screwups that federal officials did in the crazy aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Sheriff Billy McGee is considered a true hero among many of his constituents in Forrest County, Mississippi...and he's facing federal misdemeanor charges for it.

It seems as though he and three deputies commendeered two ice trucks at the Federal Emergency Management Agency staging area in the Camp Shelby National Guard training base south of Hattiesburg last September 4 to provide ice and water to residents of two communities who had been without either for a week, and the sheriff admits not following FEMA regulations in asking the trucks' drivers to accompany them.

Sheriff McGee has been charged with interfering with, intimidating and impeding a federal officer. He was to have pleaded guilty this week, but the hearing was unexpectedly delayed late Thursday. The plea is part of a deal which would allow McGee to keep his office, run for reelection in the future, and have no action taken against his subordinates.

Across Forrest County, McGee has found lots of support. A group of students from Forrest County Agricultrual High School are circulating a petition on behalf of their sheriff, and residents are speaking out for him, according to this Hattiesburg American story.

"They'll probably guarantee the sheriff re-election for years," [one resident identified only by the last name] Wiseman said. "The federal government has and continues to commit so many missteps in the name of bureaucracy, like the trailers sitting in the mud in Arkansas. Things that just become totally unreasonable to citizens ... turn them against government. You had a local official who understood the plight his citizens were in and acted in contrast to rule-bound bureaucrats up in Washington."

And one resident of the south county community of McLaurin, an EMT named Amanda Skelton who helped staff a makeshift emergency room there in the days following the storm, said the ice helped folks who truly needed it:

"We had diabetics and people who needed ice for medical reasons," she said. "We had people in their 90s who were dehydrated and our were dehydrated. It was pretty desperate."

While the sheriff may have violated strict protocols, he did what he felt he needed to do on behalf of the citizens he was sworn to protect and serve. And from the quote above mentions, his actions very well could have saved several lives. Hurricane Katrina was a "storm of the century" event which noone could have truly been prepared for. When everything is said and done, Sheriff McGee should be saluted for helping his communities, and U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi Dunn Lampton should seriously consider dropping the charges against a true hero.

5 Comments:

Blogger Elohimus Maximus said...

Wow, that was a very interesting article! Even though I may not agree, I like your writing style. Personally I am a pro lifer, I think there are better things we could be doing with these children than aborting them. In fact I just wrote an article on my site if you are open minded and want to check it out.

4:11 PM  
Blogger Bryan said...

I think the sheriff is to be congratulated for not shooting anyone. We have been sending stuff to Mississippi because no one else was.

That Federal attorney has to be out of his mind, or is looking to be transferred.

4:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem with this Sheriff McGee stuff is that it is long on hero worship and short on facts. People seem to think that there was this large volume of trucks sitting at Camp Shelby with no movement. That was not the case. Trucks were being sent out all throughout the day and every truck that was available was sent out every day. There were about 1/3 the ice trucks available that day to meet the need. Everybody was short but Forrest County was already getting its share plus some. Forrest County should have done better to take care of its own instead of taking from another county.

5:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ABOUT THIS SHERIFF SITUATION JUST, LIKE ALL THE OTHER LAW BREAKING LAW OFFICIALS OF FORREST COUNTY. THERE IS A HISTORY OF THESE " OFFICERS OF THE LAW" DOING WHAT SUITS THEM. WHAT I THINK IS SO BAD ABOUT THE WHOLE THING IS THAT SHERIFF MCGEE IS SITTING BACK TAKING ALL THE HERO COMMITS AND THE FACT REMAINS THAT, HE IS A OFFICER OF THE LAW AND NO MATTER WHAT HE BROKE THE LAW AND "STOLE" AND IS "LIEING" AND HIS DEPUTIES ARE SITTING BACK HIDING, SCARED THAT IT WILL ALL COME OUT.... WELL GUESS WHAT BOYS? WATCH OUT CAUSE YEAH YALL DID A GREAT THING FOR THOSE IN NEED BUT YOU STOLE, YOU LIED, AND NOW IT IS TIME TO PAY THE PRICE JUST LIKE ANY OTHER PERSON WHO YOU MIGHT PUT IN JAIL THATS WHERE YOU BELONG AS WELL....... JUST KEEP HIDING IT WONT BE LONG AND NAMES WILL COME OUT!!!!!!

12:26 PM  
Anonymous Dolan said...

The sheriff is lucky the MP's did not shoot him. Capt. Bryant took on 3 or 4 deputies and they had their hands full getting him into the squad. The sheriff also does not mention that the MP's chased the patrol car thru the base at high speed until they were finally called off. Lots of facts being missed in this one...the sheriff needs to be prosecuted....we are a nation of laws and regardless of what the sheriff thought was right he cannot come on to a federal military base and steal. Those trucks were earmarked for other places that needed the ice just as desperately as he and his community did. He's a joke and I hope he gets what is coming to him. Hero my ass, he's a fool.

1:14 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home