HINDS COUNTY, Miss. (WJTV) — Charges are pending against Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith.
According to Attorney General Jim Hood’s Office, Smith was arrested Wednesday. He was booked into the Hinds County jail.The arrest comes after a joint investigation between AG Hood’s office and the FBI
A six-count affidavit alleges that Smith illegally advised men charged with crimes.
The 45-year-old is accused of violating a law that states that the attorney general or district attorney shall not “consult, advise, counsel or defend” a person charged with a crime or misdemeanor.
Two defendants were named in the affidavit along with attorneys representing the two men.
“Those who are sworn to uphold the law are not above the law,” said Donald Alway, special agent in charge of the FBI in Mississippi. “Though today’s charges are only allegations, public corruption poses a fundamental threat to our national security and way of life. It impacts everything from how well our borders are secured and our neighborhoods protected…to verdicts handed down in courts. The FBI appreciates the close cooperation on this matter with the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office.”
“It is particularly sad to have to prosecute and seek removal from office a fellow prosecutor,” said Attorney General Jim Hood. “We greatly appreciate the hard work of the FBI on this case and we hope to resolve this as soon as possible.”
If convicted, Smith could be removed as district attorney and prohibited from holding any other elected office or government position. He could also face a $500 fine.
WJTV will update this story as soon as more details become available.
District Attorney Smith released the statement made at a press conference about his charges on Tuesday.
Today, June 22, 2016, the Office of the Attorney General entered into my office while I was preparing for a Grand Jury presentation. Lee McDivitt, investigator with the Attorney General Jim Hood’s Office told me that they had a warrant for my arrest. Lee McDivitt is the same investigator who had been served with a subpoena to appear before a Hinds County Grand Jury related to an investigation by the Hinds County District Attorney regarding improper and illegal activities by certain state officials.
McDivitt and other officials who were subpoenaed to appear before the Hinds County Grand Jury conspired to Quash the subpoenas to avoid them having to give testimony under oath.
These improper and illegal actions taken by Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood are designed to intimidate, embarrass, and obstruct an ongoing criminal investigation.
These misdemeanors allegations are not only false, but designed to denigrate the credibility of the Hinds County District Attorney.