Freelands dispute assault accusations

OXFORD – Attorneys Tom and Joyce Freeland of Oxford are fighting back against professional and personal accusations in federal and city court filings.
In municipal court, Tom Freeland IV was accused of a March 25 assault on the couple’s friend, Susan White, in a she-said-he-said incident she claims occurred at her home after she and the Freelands had dinner at a downtown restaurant.
The case is due for hearing Aug. 24 and the Freelands have hired attorney Rick Davis to represent him.
The Susan White story was repeated May 19 in a federal motion for substitute counsel by the Freelands’ client, Dr. Cassandra Faye Thomas of Jackson.
A federal jury found Thomas guilty April 8 on 10 counts of Medicare and Medicaid fraud, conspiracy and wire fraud.
Thomas operated a clinic to provide physical therapy services to Jackson-area patients. She was accused of falsely billing for $2.3 million in services.
Tom Freeland is one of a long line of Freeland lawyers, and their quaint Victorian-style Jackson Avenue office has housed lawyers since 1905. He’s been a member of the Mississippi Bar since 1981 and more recently is known for his Internet blog, NMiss Commentor or nmissccommentor.com, which posts a range of topics from judicial matters to local food offerings.
His wife, Joyce, said Thursday she’s speaking publicly because she knows that several statements in the police report, recently circulated on the Internet, “are absolutely untrue.”
White claimed Tom Freeland pushed himself into her home, grabbed her and kissed her. The Oxford Municipal Court citations charge trespass and simple assault.
“The viciousness of some of the attacks on the Internet from folks who have only heard one side of this story is really disturbing,” Joyce Freeland said.
In Thomas’ case, she fired the Freelands and told the court that the Susan White incident and its aftermath distracted them from adequately representing her at trial.
Thomas was granted new counsel and her June 27 sentencing was delayed for 90 days to allow her new lawyers time to prepare.
The Freelands dispute her allegations, which included assertions that Tom Freeland was arrested and jailed March 31 and that they were not available to Thomas the week prior to the trial.
“The misdemeanor charge did not occupy the time or either (of the Freelands) more than briefly,” their May 20 response to the court stated. They also note that Tom Freeland did not retain legal counsel until after Thomas’ trial was complete.
They insist White’s police report states “a fanciful and false account of events” for March 25, which was nine days before Thomas’ trial.
Tom Freeland termed White’s charges “frivolous” and said he is “vigorously” defending them.
Joyce Freeland termed the situation “a test by fire for my husband and myself.”
She said she has proof that several of White’s statement to the police are misleading and false.
“We will make it through it,” she added, “because I intend to tell the truth.”

Contact Patsy R. Brumfield at (662) 678-1596 or patsy.brumfield@journalinc.com.

Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal