She has been in office only 126 days now, but the first democratically elected female tribal chief of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians is already proving to be a mover and a shaker. Chief Phyliss Anderson gave 3 on Your Side an exclusive interview about her new responsibilities.
By her own admission, 50-year-old Anderson's life-long dream never included being Chief of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians.
"But when I decided to run, I knew that it was something I wanted to do. I felt like it was a calling," said Anderson.
There don't seem to be enough hours in the day to accommodate Anderson's busy schedule, but she made time for an interview with me. The chief wants everyone to know the tribe is on solid footing.
Chief Anderson said, "And I feel like we are coming together as one, not just with the people, but also with our governing bodies."
I asked her what was one of the biggest challenges so far. She said there are many.
She said, "One of the biggest things that was weighing heavily as we came into office was the refinance."
Financial stability was in jeopardy and Chief Anderson thought it would take longer than 100 days to get a new loan agreement for the Pearl River Resort and the Bok Homa Casino in Jones County. It didn't.
Anderson said, "And we are making improvements, but one thing that I try to focus on is our expenses.."
Expenses like the millions of dollars paid to Atlanta based Mercury Gaming, Titan Advertising Agency and the Atlanta Braves. Those contracts have ended and the money reinvested back into the tribe. Questionable spending prompted an FBI raid last year. Chief Anderson told me the FBI probe is ongoing.
Anderson said, "The only thing I can tell you is that I spoke to the US Attorney and the only information he gave me was that we are not the target. The resort is not the target, nor the tribe. We are actually the victim and that the investigation is ongoing. And that's all I have at this time."
Advertising is now done in-house, instead of with Titan and Chief Anderson has become somewhat the celebrity over the popular slogan: "It's Vegas with sweet tea."
She said about the commercial, "I was a little bit afraid because I had never done one like that before, however, I knew it was important for the tribe. I knew that we had to make sure that people are welcome here."
By the way, Chief Anderson's first act on her first day in office was to take a 10-percent pay cut. For the first time in four years, cost of living increases went to lower wage earners.
Friday, May 24 2013 12:22 PM EDT2013-05-24 16:22:29 GMT
James Hutto interrupted his own capital murder trial Tuesday morning, angry that judge Bill Gowan decided against the admissibility of certain evidence. "None of that matters? F***. I don't give a f***More >>
A capital murder case defendant, known for his abrasive outbursts and odd behavior in court, entered court Friday morning with a limp. James Hutto told Judge Bill Gowan that he needed to be excused for the day because the shackles on his legs had been irritating his skin. More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 12:56 PM EDT2013-05-24 16:56:47 GMT
Robert Nikita Shegog, a former Jackson police officer is facing federal bribery charges. Court documents show that Shegog is charged with demanding and accepting bribes valued at more th an $5,000 betweenMore >>
Robert Nikita Shegog, a former Jackson police officer, is facing federal bribery charges. Court documents show that Shegog is charged with demanding and accepting bribes valued at more than $5,000 between December 2009 and September 2010.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 10:33 AM EDT2013-05-24 14:33:13 GMT
A battle of words from the attorneys representing Jackson Police Officer Terrance Crump and Shane Patrick. Crump's attorney Warren Martin says Patrick yelled racial slurs when walking out of the store.More >>
A battle of words from the attorneys representing Jackson Police Officer Terrance Crump and Shane Patrick has sparked after both parties claim they were the victim in a fight at an Edwards gas station. More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 6:45 PM EDT2013-05-23 22:45:01 GMT
(WMC-TV) - A baby fights to survive at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital in critical condition after being hit by an SUV with his mother behind the wheel, according to police. An orange circle marks the pointMore >>
A baby fights to survive at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital in critical condition after being hit by an SUV with his mother behind the wheel, according to police.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 11:44 AM EDT2013-05-24 15:44:25 GMT
TAMPA, FL (WTSP/CNN) – Authorities in Tampa, FL, made a startling discovery during a foreclosure eviction. Police found 66-year-old James Hopkins living on the property that belonged to someone else. TheyMore >>
Authorities in Tampa, FL, made a startling discovery during a foreclosure eviction.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 9:13 PM EDT2013-05-24 01:13:14 GMT
Two elementary school girls were allegedly sexually assaulted by another female student. One incident happening while the two girls were at school. Two mothers are now speaking out about their daughters.More >>
Two Jackson mothers are speaking out after they say their daughters were sexually assaulted by another female student. One of the incidents allegedly happened at school.More >>
A New Jersey company that operates 13 TGI Fridays restaurants accused of secretly replacing premium liquor with low-quality booze says it's shocked at the allegations.More >>
At one bar, a mixture that included rubbing alcohol and caramel coloring was sold as scotch. In another, premium liquor bottles were refilled with water - and apparently not even clean water at that.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 7:05 PM EDT2013-05-23 23:05:30 GMT
A Jackson Public School district principal has had her license suspended for one year. Dr. Lisa Andrus-Johnson is the principal at Watkins Elementary school.A spokesperson for the Mississippi DepartmentMore >>
A Jackson Public School district principal has had her license suspended for one year. Dr. Lisa Andrus-Johnson is the principal at Watkins Elementary school.More >>
WLBT 3 - Fox 40
715 South Jefferson Street
Jackson, Mississippi 39201