How about a bit of petty corruption Mississippi style: All your base are belong to us

Cotton Fore unmasked

Anita Lee tells the story. In a comment to Anita’s story I shared what I was thinking, so lets reverse things and start with my remark: 

It was mighty dry last May/June and hot too. Instead of hooking into the line next door and then making that “mistake” why didn’t Cotton simply have his plumber fix his line. This stinks to high heaven including “hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil” Jim Simpson. I suspect several of the interviewees noses grew several inches after talking with Anita and Robin 

Does this remind anyone of V? 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V_(1983_miniseries) 

Here is a snippet from Anita’s story on one of the wealthiest and politically connected businessmen in Harrison County filching water from what appears to be a willing victim in the Harrison County Development Commission: 

HCDC’s investigation, handled by a consulting engineer and staff members, proved inconclusive. HCDC attorney Jim Simpson wrote to the District Attorney’s Office and sheriff’s department. But District Attorney Cono Caranna’s office, which prosecutes felonies, determined tampering with a water meter is a misdemeanor and suggested the case would be more appropriately handled by Gulfport Municipal Court or the State Auditor’s Office. 

“We can’t allow someone to use our water who hasn’t been paying for it,” Simpson said. “We can’t readily find a way to say how much water (was used) and for how long. You have to somehow protect the taxpayers’ interest. 

“We’re not an investigative body. That’s not our job.” 

After receiving Caranna’s letter, a committee of HCDC board members decided staff members and engineers should try to determine how much water Fore used and calculate engineering fees for the investigation, Deputy Director Bill Hessell said. The 12-member board will decide in March whether to add a penalty. Fore will then be sent a bill, Hessell said. 

“The Development Commission is not going to pursue it any further from a legal standpoint,” Hessell said. 

Is it lost on anyone that if this had been a crackhead stealing a thousand bucks from FEMA we’d have the AG, the State Auditor, the Local DA and the US Attorneys office all over the matter? 

It gets better though, because while Cotton was filching water, the Harrison County Development Commission was busy hatching plans to buy a boatload of land from him in northern Harrison County for the ‘bargain basement’ price of $12,000 and change per acre: 

In the more immediate future, the Harrison County Board of Supervisors has agreed to issue up to $7.5 million in bonds to buy 623 acres from Gulfport businessman W.C. “Cotton” Fore for a north Harrison County industrial park. HCDC had to go to the Supreme Court to resolve a zoning dispute over the property…………….. 

“I know we’ve missed some opportunities,” Barnett said. “Some of the projects that come in require more land than what we have available in an industrial park. There’s private land available, but it’s not developed with utilities to the site.” Also most private land already zoned for industrial use is occupied. 

There are not a whole lot of comps out there but typically the larger the parcel the cheaper the per acre price as this 720 acre parcel illustrates which is going for under $6,000 per acre. Does any of this sound familiar to you Jefferson Parish folks? I bet it does. 

 This bunch at the Harrison County Development Commission protecting the taxpayer’s interest? Come on man. 

I know I’m going to regret this but anyone willing to share on this subject can reach me at the addy found on our contact page. 

Meantime the vid that matches the post title. Enjoy. ~ sop 

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