Motion Heard in Slander Suit

By: Renee' LaSalle
By: Renee' LaSalle

The case involving Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics employees and its former director stems from a memo alleging misconduct at MBN.

The memo was written on April 4, 2003, and released to the press on the same day from then-director and now Jackson Mayor Frank Melton.

The memo was based on information from Warren Buchanan, an agent with the MBN and specifically brings allegations of misconduct against two other agents, Jimmy Saxton and Earl Pierce.

An investigation into these claims ultimately found that Saxton and Pierce were in compliance with state law. Both Buchanan and Melton now face charges of slander and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress.

The motion heard Thursday was for a summary judgment, brought by the defense. All of the evidence has been presented. Circuit Judge Robert Bailey will rule on the motion at a later date.

Judge Bailey has now imposed a gag order in this civil matter. The original trial date of Nov. 7 has been pushed back due to extenuating circumstances with the court. The Nov. 7 court date will now be used to hear any further motions and the trial will be rescheduled for some time in the spring of 2006.

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