Political Party/527

Mississippi Justice & Public Safety PAC

Location:

Jackson, MS

Organization Type:

527 Political Action Committee

Director:

Whitney Tymas

Mississippi Justice & Public Safety PAC is a left-of-center PAC that was created in 2019 to fund the campaign of Jody Owens, the Democratic candidate for Hinds County District Attorney. The organization is the Mississippi branch of the vast “Safety and Justice” network, a project of left-leaning billionaire George Soros that used a network of similarly named state-level PACs to finance the campaigns of progressive Democratic candidates for district attorney in more than a dozen of America’s cities.

Funding

George Soros donated $500,000 to Mississippi Justice & Public Safety on July 17, 2019, 100 percent of its funding for the year.[1] On November 13, 2019, the organization refunded George Soros the unused funds, totaling $294,191.47.[2]

Controversies

While Mississippi Justice & Public Safety has stayed out of the public eye, the group’s backed candidate Jody Owens, has been accused of sexual harassment by former colleagues. One woman who worked for the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) filed a complaint with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in the summer of 2019 detailing specific interactions with Owens and an office culture that enabled his behavior.[3]

The woman claimed that Owens made unsolicited comments about her body and touched her without consent.[4] After feeling compelled to attend a dinner with Owens and his family, the woman also claimed that he called her cellphone and asked about her dating life.[5] The woman allegedly reported the harassment to SPLC’s deputy director of criminal justice reform, Lisa Graybill, and Twyla Williams, the director of human resources.[6] Williams arranged a third-party investigation of the complaints, and the woman was told in June that the investigators believed her claims were credible.[7] Ten interviewees claimed that they either experienced, witnessed, or knew about Owens’ harassment of subordinate female employees at SPLC.[8]

Leadership

Mississippi Justice & Public Safety PAC is led by its director, Whitney Tymas, who serves as the head of the widely dispersed “Safety and Justice” network. Tymas also served on the board of the Civic Participation Action Fund (CPAF).

References

  1. Tymas, Whitney. Report of Contributions and Disbursements. Mississippi Secretary of State, October 29, 2019. https://cfportal.sos.ms.gov/online/portal/cf/page/cf-search/~/ExecuteWorkflow.aspx?WorkflowId=g729911d7-f399-46d6-a1ca-f15c1294f82d&FilingId=1055E268-6597-42B8-A0BD-F6B8B8687BDA. ^
  2. Tymas, Whitney. Report of Termination. Mississippi Secretary of State, November 14, 2019. https://cfportal.sos.ms.gov/online/portal/cf/page/cf-search/~/ExecuteWorkflow.aspx?WorkflowId=g729911d7-f399-46d6-a1ca-f15c1294f82d&FilingId=841A568C-2D4A-47DC-83CF-24AE7158D8F4. ^
  3. Lerner, Kira. “Exclusive: Former Colleagues Accuse Mississippi D.A. Candidate Jody Owens Of Sexual Harassment.” The Appeal, October 11, 2019. https://theappeal.org/exclusive-former-colleagues-accuse-mississippi-d-a-candidate-jody-owens-of-sexual-harassment/. ^
  4. Lerner, Kira. “Exclusive: Former Colleagues Accuse Mississippi D.A. Candidate Jody Owens Of Sexual Harassment.” The Appeal, October 11, 2019. https://theappeal.org/exclusive-former-colleagues-accuse-mississippi-d-a-candidate-jody-owens-of-sexual-harassment/. ^
  5. Lerner, Kira. “Exclusive: Former Colleagues Accuse Mississippi D.A. Candidate Jody Owens Of Sexual Harassment.” The Appeal, October 11, 2019. https://theappeal.org/exclusive-former-colleagues-accuse-mississippi-d-a-candidate-jody-owens-of-sexual-harassment/. ^
  6. Lerner, Kira. “Exclusive: Former Colleagues Accuse Mississippi D.A. Candidate Jody Owens Of Sexual Harassment.” The Appeal, October 11, 2019. https://theappeal.org/exclusive-former-colleagues-accuse-mississippi-d-a-candidate-jody-owens-of-sexual-harassment/. ^
  7. Lerner, Kira. “Exclusive: Former Colleagues Accuse Mississippi D.A. Candidate Jody Owens Of Sexual Harassment.” The Appeal, October 11, 2019. https://theappeal.org/exclusive-former-colleagues-accuse-mississippi-d-a-candidate-jody-owens-of-sexual-harassment/. ^
  8. Lerner, Kira. “Exclusive: Former Colleagues Accuse Mississippi D.A. Candidate Jody Owens Of Sexual Harassment.” The Appeal, October 11, 2019. https://theappeal.org/exclusive-former-colleagues-accuse-mississippi-d-a-candidate-jody-owens-of-sexual-harassment/. ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

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