Waste Management files motion to dismiss case against Jackson mayor

The garbage service will begin trash pick-up on July 1. (Photo source: Waste Management)
The garbage service will begin trash pick-up on July 1. (Photo source: Waste Management)
Published: Mar. 14, 2022 at 4:39 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Waste Management of Mississippi has dismissed its suit against Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba.

Monday, an attorney for the firm filed a notice of voluntary dismissal with the Hinds County Circuit Court. Joining in the voluntary dismissal was Waste Disposal Services LLC, which is a subcontractor for the company.

After this story initially ran, Waste Management issued the following statement:

“Waste Management of Mississippi, Inc. voluntarily dismissed, without prejudice, its Hinds County Circuit Court action against the Mayor of Jackson and the City of Jackson concerning the solid waste collection Request for Proposals.  The Mayor of Jackson filed his own lawsuit against the Jackson City Council in Hinds County Chancery Court concerning the same RFP process.  To avoid parallel lawsuits, Waste Management has elected to move to intervene and assert its legal and equitable rights in a case where both the Mayor and the City Council are parties to the dispute. Waste Management is taking this action to vindicate its rights and to ensure that the laws of the State of Mississippi are followed.”

The motion comes just days after Mayor Chowke Antar Lumumba filed suit asking the court to toss the case, saying Waste Management could not appeal a decision the city had not made.

Waste Management had filed suit asking the court to force the city into negotiations with the firm after the council twice voted down a proposal to bring on Richard’s Disposal.

Waste Management and Richard’s Disposal were among the firms that responded to the city’s October 2021 trash-hauling request for proposals.

Richard’s won the proposal presented by the mayor, largely due to its lower cost. However, the council twice rejected awarding the New Orleans-based firm a contract.

Waste Management’s attorney had argued the mayor should enter into negotiations with his client, saying they received the second-highest score during the RFP evaluations.

Instead, the mayor issued an emergency declaration over garbage collections and awarded a one-year emergency deal to Richard’s.

However, the council twice voted down a motion to ratify the mayor’s emergency contract.

Officials with the administration said the two votes did not count and Richard’s is expected to begin residential garbage collections on April 1.

A second lawsuit between the mayor and city council is pending in Hinds County Chancery Court.

Chase Bryan, an attorney for Waste Management, filed an entry of appearance motion notice in that case.

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