Let’s use some excerpts of the OIG report on DMR’s land acquisitions to illustrate why the taxpayer paid appraisals obtained by the Bay Waveland School Board as cover for their friends and family program are not worth the paper they are written on. First up we need to know what the OIG auditors did and they well explain it:
You see folks, the auditors may have had specific information that DMR Director Bill Walker and his assistant Tina Shumate were looting the program for their personal gain but going in blank they would have noticed a ton of red flags. Preliminary procedures would include comparing the real estate valuations (appraisals) against tax roll appraised values. Drilling down into the appraisal report themselves for those transactions that had large variances would include evaluating the appraiser’s work product against professional standards in the field. The OIG was kind enough to identify for us 15 requirements and best practices and summarize how each DMR transaction failed at least 4 of those 15 best practices/requirements:
Slabbed covered the Bay Tech Building Appraisal used to set the valuation for the second sale from School Board Attorney Ronnie Artigues’ friends Gerald Rigsby and Lloyd Nicaud, who did not yet own the building when he ordered the appraisal on behalf of the School District on May 4, 2012. Of course, given the relationships I’d submit at least 3 of the above best practices as proscribed by “Uniform Appraisal Standards for Federal Land Acquisitions” (UASFLA) in requirements A, E, and M (possibly I as well) shown above in the OIG table on the DMR land acquisitions were violated. It was these appraisals School Board Attorney Atrigues waved around for the folks at the Sea Coast Echo, valuations which the DMR scandal illustrates as worthless. Despite the fact, at the school board November meeting the School Board authorized payment to Global Valuations for the worthless appraisal, after previously improperly discussing it in executive session well before this scandal broke. My personal experience is friends and family programs can only exist where there is no transparency and it did not take me long to figure out the Bay Waveland School Board likes to conduct almost all the public’s business behind closed doors. Lest I digress as here is what the OIG had to say in the DMR report regarding requirement E, inadequate investigation of consideration of sales history:
Finally I hope it is not lost on anyone that appraisal used in the Bay tech Building swindle, Global Valuation Services, Inc. also appeared in the DMR OIG report.
The taxpayers in Hancock County deserve far better from their school board and we need a clean slate and I openly invite the citizens of Waveland to take out their trash. Notably MIA is the local newspaper, you know the one that regularly excoriated Waveland Mayor Tommy Longo after Katrina for things like taking a long weekend in November 2005 to visit his displaced wife and children.
There are all manner of behind the scenes gyrations happening in this matter, none of which I can disclose at this juncture but there will be more – there always is in these type matters. Stay tuned. Next up we examine a few of those DMR land buys.
Links to Slabbed’s previous coverage of this matter:
- Delisted: Bay Tech lot withdrawn from MLS
- Guest Post: What made Bay Waveland School Board President Sherry Ponder change her mind about the Bay Tech Building
- Upon the hill they planted their flag….
- School District records suggest collusion in Bay Waveland’s School District’s purchase of Bay Tech Building
- Sea Coast Echo story on Bay Waveland Schools buying Bay Tech building raises additional questions (UPDATED)
- Bay Waveland School Board Minutes add color to the purchase of the old Bay Tech building
- Court documents raise questions about Bay-Waveland School District’s purchase of the old Bay Tech Building