WLBT intervenes in public records request - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

WLBT intervenes in public records request

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

WLBT has requested a copy of the settlement agreement between Motorola and Hinds County.

It may be an uphill climb to get it.

Jimmy Hendrix of the website jacksonjambalaya.com has had to file a request in court to get those documents made public. WLBT will be intervening too.

Attorney Curt Crowley is representing the intervener. "Instead of producing the records like the law requires, Hinds County informs Motorola that a copy of the settlement has been requested. Motorola then turns around, files a lawsuit in Chancery Court against Hinds County that will order Hinds County not to produce the settlement agreement," he says.

It's unclear why Hinds County, which collected in the settlement, wants it kept secret. Could it be because Precious Martin, husband of board attorney Crystal Martin, represented the county as outside counsel for the lawsuit? "He was paid, what we believe, a contingency fee or a percentage of what was recovered," Crowley says.

In court documents filed by Motorola, and posted on jacksonjambalaya.com, Precious Martin was accused of inappropriate actions involving a contractor and subcontractor for Hinds County that we've investigated before: Stacey Stowers and Nathan Hargrove. The documents say Tim Brown, owner of Brown's Communications, traveled from Maryland to Mississippi to deal with what he called "fraudulent use" of his business' employees and equipment by Stowers and Hargrove.

Hargrove used to work for Brown's Communications. The company's Jackson office is on Foley Street. It's across the street from Northstar Wireless, the company currently owned by Nathan Hargrove, and Stacey Stowers, owner of Airwave, LLC. The documents state that Precious Martin told Brown he would see to it that Brown would "get paid" if he kept quiet about the fraud, because Stowers and Hargrove could make so much money for Precious Martin in the Motorola lawsuit, that he could retire.

In another court document, Precious Martin denies the allegations. It's also stated that Tim Brown never took any action against Hargrove or Stowers for the alleged fraud.

An employee at Northstar Wireless told us neither Hargrove nor Stowers were in the office Friday to comment. We've placed a call to Precious Martin for his response.

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