DMR Scandal day 99: Danny, I know I’m not that easy…..

Folks, we now have a free for all at DMR as Billy Walker and his co conspirators to the looting of the agency for their personal benefit are finally being thrown under the bus by Interim DMR Director Danny Guice and the embattled Commission on Marine Resources. I mention this because months after Tina Shumate’s double dealing was exposed by the Sun Herald, both her and her political hack sister have finally been let go from DMR. It is not nearly enough.

By all accounts Guice, a career politician, wants the top job at DMR badly thus his conversion into some sort of good government activist.  The Commission on Marine Resources OTOH, have been revealed as simpletons along the lines of the D’Iberville City Council, heaping praise on Walker despite the allegations right up to the bitter end.  Clueless does not describe them, which is why they all need to go as these misdeeds happened on their watch when they were supposed to be providing oversight.  They breached their fiduciary duty to the DMR and that is about the worst thing a board member can do.  It is my hope that any money not recovered from Bill Walker and his band of theives is recovered from the Board members who oversaw the looting of the agency by Walker and his cronies.

And this brings us to the public trust part because now the Commission on Marine Resources is in spin mode pretending to care what the public thinks.  I agree with Gov. Phil that the Commission on Marine Resources should be sunsetted and thus eliminated and such a step would enhance my trust that the Governor is actually interested in cleaning up the mess his coastal crony supporters made at DMR.

This brings me to another board that sorely needs a house cleaning, The Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain.  This organization once enjoyed a sterling reputation on the coast until it was revealed that they joined with Bill Walker in perpetrating what is likely an illegal act in the purchase of Bill Walker’s son’s property at an inflated price.  Even worse it now appears that the Executive Director of the Land Trust, Judy Steckler lied to the Sun Herald about several key aspects of the specious transaction betraying a deeper involvement in Walker’s shenanigans that previously thought.  I’ll add certain officials at the Land Trust have been overheard in public trashing Michaela Hill, a very troubled woman that reportedly committed suicide at the DMR offices at the Bolton Building around the time federal investigators and auditors were crawling all over the place.  Classless does not begin to describe it.

A reader that knows the lay of the land at the Land Trust sent me a few of the connections to Walker on the Land Trust’s Board of Directors as the reasons for the organization conspiring with Walker to allegedly perpetrate a crime comes into sharper focus:

Laura Bowie – Board President; works in an office in the DMR Bolton building at the pleasure of Bill Walker. She is paid by a different group.

In that same office is one of Bill’s long time best friends Phil Bass. Bass retired from the state and went to work for the EPA Gulf of Mexico Program. He is on loan from them.

John Bowie – Advisory Committee member, Laura’s husband. Works for the EPA.

Grant Larson – worked for Tina Shumate at the DMR

William Corky Perrett – worked for Bill at the DMR

That same reader described the Land Trust’s Board itself as “fairly incestuous” and from the above one can certainly understand why that perception exists as it appears the Land Trust is itself an extension of the DMR Friends and Family program. I hate that because there are other board members at the Land Trust that appear to be dupes including State Senator Deborah Dawkins, whom, along with the others voted to buy Scott Walker’s land acting as a financial intermediary for Bill Walker.  Beyond sending out Steckler to lie to the media it appears the gang has circled the wagons thinking people will forget about their role in the DMR scandal.  I beg to differ.

For the record here is the entire board of the Land Trust:

Laura Bowie, President
Dr. Dayton Whites, Vice President
Flowers White, Treasurer
Melanie Allen
Beth Ashley
Jon Bond
Senator Deborah Dawkins
Lisa Eveleigh
Linda Holden
Harold Holmes
M.O. “Buck” Lawrence

Stay tuned because it appears there is a jailbreak in progress at DMR and that means more turds will be bubbling up. Next up for Slabbed, we’ll begin exploring US Environmental’s role in the DMR disaster as we focus in on Bill Walker’s BP spillionaires.

19 thoughts on “DMR Scandal day 99: Danny, I know I’m not that easy…..

  1. Woodpile Rat

    Doug there a lot of rats in the Spill saga.
    Kerri and Corrie even show up.
    What is their relation to Mayor Maxwell?

    Dig deep!

    Reply
    1. Land Scam

      Where did you find Kerri and Corrie’s involvement in the spill?Need a starting point to dig from.Mayor Maxwell worked for Trent Lott who is the brother-in-law of Dickie Scruuggs who employed the sisters after Katrina.I feel certain that is how the connection began.

      Reply
  2. Emma Kline

    Yes, Doug, please dig deep. I know you are working hard on the Broussard story but everyone from Jackson to the MS coast are constantly checking your blog to find out the latest with the DMR scandal. The Sun Herald is doing a fine job but keep up the good work because I think more people are reading you than anything. I know you can get to the bottom of this. Why haven’t the Walkers or their attorneys made a statement yet? How is it possible or even fair for Bill’s daughter-in-law to STILL work there? Is she an insider?

    I still want to know if they can trace all that money spent on Fox News legal analyst Bernie Grimm and if it was government money. Who paid off Cecil Byrd for Walker’s DUI? Why hasn’t Cecil Byrd even been mentioned by the SH?

    I know Phil Bryant said he wants to do away with the CMR but he must be hiding something. I believe he was on a big supporter of Scott Walker for OS mayor. There is more that is deeply rooted in the politicians. Palazzo? The Walkers big time backed Billy Hewes against Tate Reeves. What are Billy’s thoughts? I think Moby Solangi needs to be investigated too.

    There is so much we are all dying to know and hope it ALL comes out. This is going to turn into a bestseller. Maybe bigger than Dickie Scruggs….

    Thanks again for your hard work, Doug. Keep it up!

    Reply
    1. Doug Handshoe

      Emma, Slabbed set a new traffic record last month as 61,000 unique visitors came here to see the show. Mississippians lead the increase and now are my second largest demographic by state behind my peeps in Louisiana.

      DMR is a subject that is captivating both the Louisiana and Mississippi chapters of the Slabbed Nation along with select high level readers from across the country and I will do my level best to do it justice.

      That said I do not think it will be bigger than Dickie Scruggs thought it is far more salient to the lives of ordinary Mississippians than the pissing contest between North Mississippi lawyers that was the Scruggs prosecution.

      Finally don’t thank me. Thank my wife and Hurricane Katrina. Wihtout the former’s support I could not do this blogging thing. Without the latter, I’d likely still be posting on the finance boards.

      Reply
      1. Emma Kline

        Thank you, Doug, for your response. I guarantee that a high percentage of those visitors are from the area I spoke of in the prior post and MS folks in Washington. You have no idea and I think I might.. Please get to the bottom of the questions I have asked. Certain people have been very hurt by this family… good and honest people. You are the best!

        Reply
  3. govtforsale

    I wrote a letter to Gov. Bryant telling him the real tragedy is Micaels Hill’s suicide. Michaela and I went to school together and since I’ve voted twice for Phil I told him he better restore public trust now.

    Reply
  4. Land Scam

    Phil actually came to a fundraiser at a doctors home in Ocean Springs for Scott Walker.He made the other republican candidate very mad which just happened to be current Jackson County Supervisor John McKay.Small world folks.He beat McKay in the primary.

    Reply
  5. Dawn

    That email doesnt work anymore. I just put it down to post on the board. Again I didn’t defame anyone. Just said the man isnt a good guy. I apologize for other comments that offended anyone.

    Reply
  6. catty14

    Many of us are glues to Slabbed and the Sun Herald for more revealing information about this DMR scandal. But trying to see the bigger picture one has to ask this question: What if there is a financial link between Walker and BP? This investigation could truly expand beyond our wildest dreams if there is a link. Why else would the head of the Department of Marine Resources say: We see no evidence of any oil (spill) in the area…during the height of the oil spill when it was washing up in the marshes, the barrier islands, etc.? And just who is this man Mulvaney and what is/was his role in dispensing BP clean-up money? The Street says these folks were all waiting for the big payoff from the next chunk of money to come from BP. My fear is that the scandal/investigation is so huge it might leave the local crooks unindicted as they will become small fish in this big pond and overlooked by the DOJ/US attorney’s efforts. Also, why is the Sun Herald deleting comments from their on-line commentary page? Are they fearful the Street may scoop their reporting? Why have a commentary section if you are deleting comments that are not generally offensive but informative? Inquiring minds want to know this answer.

    Reply
  7. Land Scam

    Thanks Woodpile Rat.What type of contract was it?.Is he not in the oil recycling business in Gautier?Sunherald just released an article about Bill Walker hiring lawfirm Baker-Donelson.Smells like indictments to me.They did sort of a pre announcement of not guilty.Yes I wonder who the Sunherald deleted? I saw it also.We all need to email Anita Lee an ask the question.

    Reply
  8. HardHead Catfish

    Did yall see where the Lt. Governor of Nebraska has resigned because he used his State Cell Phone for personal calls. WoW that is peanuts to what has been happening in and around the State of Mississippi. Doug, I would like to find out how many state cell phones we have in Mississippi. Considering the fact that most companies offer unlimited minutes, well is there really any harm done??????

    Reply
  9. Small fish

    They still need to dig deeper . The contract employees that were let go were actually legit for the most part . The corrupt one haven’t went anywhere including the $89,000 per year carpenter at the fish hatchery . They just got rid of some people so it looks like something is being done in the publics eyes .The surface hasnt been scratched yet !!!

    Reply
  10. Irish lass

    Just want to say I think y’all are doing an amazing job with this story. As good as the sun herald has done at exposing this blatant corruption your site is making it so much easier follow the bread crumbs. Wow.

    Oh yes….. I found your site through the sun herald link. People are gonna love this!!!!!!

    Reply
    1. Doug Handshoe

      Oui aim to please.

      I spoke with a board member of the Land Trust today and should have some new insights for everyone.

      I think the Sun Herald is doing a great job on this. A scandal like this is in my field and what I didn’t previously know about the media side I learned on the mean streets of the Jefferson Parish investigative beat. Plus the commenters here are highly informed and that makes it very easy.

      Thank you for the kind words.

      Reply
  11. SmokingDolphin

    Doug, were those members allegedly trashing Mrs. Hill that were on the Land Trust Board still trashing her? Because Tina Shumate was on that board, and now the gossip is that Tina, and her sis Samantha, plus another evil chic who still works at DMR and is leaking all the info to Tina and them, are going to blame all their stealing and misappropriation and borrowing for personal expenses and hobbies (like that Samantha chic getting $10,000 for some bogus music festival in OS when she was on the board of it), on that poor dead lady. No doubt some counterfeit accounts will be found, purportedly hers, while all along the sisters were enriching themselves and forcing Ms. Hill to hide it with threats. So if anyone knows who was trash-talking the innocent and the dead, put it up here! We want to know who the rats are. I am really shocked that Mrs. Steckler has not resigned; I would if I were her, just to clean up the Land Trust’s image.

    Reply

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