Today, the Mississippi Attorney General's office sent the following verbatim statement:
JACKSON — The Office of Attorney General placed on its website today a nine-page opinion written by former Mississippi Supreme Court Justice David Chandler, after Chandler and former Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice Edwin Lloyd Pittman, who also served as attorney general, reviewed an accompanying 43-page investigative report on whether Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves directly or indirectly, through the effort of his staff or others, was involved in or unduly influenced an attempt to build a $2 million frontage road in Flowood, Miss., which would have connected Reeves' home within a private subdivision to a nearby shopping center.
Due to the public and press interest in this matter, Attorney General Hood asked the two distinguished former Mississippi Supreme Court justices to provide a bipartisan review of this report and to offer their legal opinions based on the evidence presented in the report.
Prior to serving as Chief Justice from 2001-2004, Justice Pittman was elected attorney general in 1984, secretary of state in 1980, and state treasurer in 1976. During Justice Pittman's tenure as attorney general, he brought several actions for the enforcement of section 109 of the Mississippi Constitution, which addresses conflicts of interest by legislators and local government board members being on both sides of a contract in which they have an interest. This litigation resulted in the consolidation of these cases and those brought by the Ethics Commission into landmark section 109 case of Frazier v. State by and through Pittman, 504 So.2d 675 (Miss. 1987).
Justice Chandler served on the Supreme Court from 2009-2015 and served on the Mississippi Court of Appeals from 2001-2008. In 2015, Republican Gov. Phil Bryant appointed Justice Chandler as the first executive commissioner of the Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services, where he served until