Dang! Left out again…….

I’m personally happy such BS does not make it to my inbox.

SUN HERALD | Editorial: What was ‘inaccurate’ about DMR reports? ~ Sun Herald Editorial Board

So yes, Billy Walker has hired one of State Farm’s big Mississippi based law firms to represent him in Baker Donelson, such firm an occasional topic on these pages dating way back to Slabbed’s early days.

Last month I thought the signs indicated something was fixing to break loose with the investigation and I am still seeing those signals.

And now for that piece of gossip I heard yesterday at the Blowfly Inn, I’ve been googling away now for a couple of hours and am having a hard time finding anything so maybe the community can help out sourcing it.  It appears that during the oil spill one of the fishing trips and/or the 2 Foundation boats involved former Mississippi State great / NBA lottery pick Erick Dampier, who was with the Miami Heat during that time period.  The guest list on the trip is rumored to be very interesting.  To be clear I am not finding fault with Dampier but I am interested to know who was on the boat with him.

Anything anyone can add in comments mucho appreciated,

23 thoughts on “Dang! Left out again…….”

  1. At 6′ 11″ he was probably invited to spot schools of fish from the flybridge or report on the winds aloft in the upper atmosphere. And at 275 lb I wouldn’t get too personal wit’ too many questions as to whom he bees wit’ on dat boat.

    His NBA career spectacular as it was was winding down in 2011 He probably never finished Mississippi State with a degree being drafted as a junior however has he taken courses at other universities and would he have a bachelors degree in something which could qualify him for a appointment in Mississippi state government ? Certainly with the Miami Heat he could have boated and fished with many people in much more pristine produced big game waters for sure.

    If I had to guess I would speculate he was there because some politico’s son or relative or state basketball coach waned to meet with him on a social basis.

    What other people were with him would and could only be answered through a personal tweet and his response or a subpoena duces tecum and /or deposition.Your inquiry I sense is more like dragging a small shrimp test net, catching a big shrimp and announcing it causing bigger trawlers with move in wit dem bigger nets.

  2. Diz, Good thing yo’ got dat Wing tuned up cuz you shake dat tree too hard and that Philistine giant can run a full court in eight strides.

  3. Doug, I am sure that the FEDS and State Auditors know all of this information already. What I am more concerned about at this point in time is whether or not these slobs have the juice in Washington to get them off of this. You know, the FEDS are only human too….can they be bought? Is the fix already in?
    I realize that this is a complicated case; however, one year is a lot of time and there should have been some indictments already issued and the crooks at the DMR gotten rid of. That, in my opinion, includes the close associates of the Walkers, McKay, Harrises….yada, yada, yada. There is still several Program Directors at the DMR that need to be purged. And why is Corky Peret hired back at the DMR on contract? He is one of the past N. O. thugs; he and his wife have been on the “contract” payroll for quite some time. Why are the taxpayers still feeding this pig? He needs to go.
    I think that Mr. Miller is limited by “the powers that be” to really assess the employees at the DMR and right the wrongs there. Loyal employees have been pushed to the side and the grifters are still in charge (or the grafter designees are still in charge). People without credentials (should not be hard to verify) need to go. And people who have earned promotions there should be able to be promoted instead of being pushed aside and replaced by “chosen individuals”.
    I don’t have much faith that this debacle will turn out well; nor will the guilty be punished and the deserving employees be made whole again. Just my opinion. Instead, I think that the Fat Man and Walker gang will continue to rob the Coast blind. Hope I’m wrong.

    1. Mona. I think your spot on about pushing loyal employees to the side because that is the impression I get myself. As far as hiring people with credentials, I am still in disbelief and think that political connections and being the “chosen one” will still be the prime practice of selection. I think this is what we saw with the inside deal that landed Melissa Scallan as the public information officer. I am still waiting for someone to prove me wrong on this and all are invited to try.

  4. I trawled the internet for info on these trips on a number of occasions. Never saw any mention of Dampier then and found nothing on this now.

  5. While I don’t think anything was gained by the trip on the Boat with Dampier, I do know that a former Miss. State Basketball teammate of Dampier, David Rula of Hemphill Construction is close with Dampier and has acted as his agent at times. David Rula’s family owns Hemphill Construction in South Jackson. A few years ago Hemphill Construction hired Maxwell Walker to pursue some projects in Jackson County such as the Jail in Pascagoula and some infrastructure projects in Ocean Springs. Hemphill is a good company and they do good work. NOW, I am speculating that if Eric Dampier ever went fishing on a DMR Foundation Boat, it was probably through the Hemphill/Scott Walker/Maxwell connection. I may be wrong but that’s what I think.

    1. “David Rula of Hemphill Construction is close with Dampier and has acted as his agent at times.” Possible understatement? Not that there is anything wrong with that.

      Interesting speculation on what might hypothetically place Erick Dampier on either a DMR boat or a DMR chartered boat with a college teammate whose employer was represented by the Maxwell-Walker Consulting Group concerning the Jackson County jail that isn’t according to reports in the local media. Since you went first, could there be there anything else?

      LinkedIn reports that David Rula is now with Digital Marketing Services. His LinkedIn profile does show a background which might get him invited to go fishing on the DMR Friends and Family Plan(tm), just like those lucky welders at Ingalls (still no luck finding any pictures of the welders on the DMR boats).

      Current Partner-Business Development & Sales Director at Digital Marketing Services
      Past Business Development Director at Hemphill Construction Co. Inc.
      Sales Manager at Suncoast Infrastructure, Inc.

      David Rula’s Projects
      Hurricane Katrina
      Team Members: David Rula, as well as hundreds of other great people

      Managed the office for the largest natural disaster in the history of the United States in Hurricane Katrina. 800 Million dollar contract

      Now if one is speculating, why stop at just two teammates on board? Or perhaps a different or additional teammate on board. There are some other possibilities. In a world of hypothetical* Mississippi charters, why not invite Whit Hughes (ex Barbour, ex MDA) to come on board?

      After all, why settle for the college home cooking teammate connections when one can have the prep school home cooking teammate connections? Not only were Dampier and Rula teammates of Whit Hughes at Miss State; Hughes and Rula were teammates at Jackson Prep. Recognize any other names? There was a Johnny Brunini on the Jackson Prep team with Rula and Hughes. Some may observe that the Johnny Brunini in the Jackson Prep alumni picture has a surprising resemblance to one John A. Brunini recently of the Brunini, Grantham, Grower & Hewes, PLLC firm in Jackson. That firm does have a tag at Slabbed.

      The Hemphill Construction firm apparently knows how to get the contracts. You have to spend money to make money as a Wall Street Journal Politics section story from 2005 reported: Katrina Galvanizes Lobbyists As Costly Rebuilding Begins.

      At Adams & Rees, one client, the Shaw Group of Baton Rouge, La., has garnered a $100 million contract with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to build temporary housing for displaced residents, and a second $100 million deal to help New Orleans dry out. Another client, Hemphill Construction Co. of Florence, Miss., got a $100 million subcontract for debris removal in Mississippi. A third, Yates & Sons Construction of Jackson, Miss., has won a pair of $50 million deals for debris removal. (Adams & Reese declines to discuss the terms of its contracts with these clients, but a lobbying firm is typically paid a monthly retainer negotiated with the client; the more the lobbyists do for the client, the more the retainer grows.)

      Readers may remember that Adams and Reese has been mentioned before here at Slabbed. Frequently enough that they have a tag.

      *Hypothetical: “Walker sent a statement through his media relations office when the Sun Herald contacted him for an interview on the subject of chartered trips.

      “We have taken legislators and other individuals who can be helpful to our departmental programs out to our islands and reefs,” his statement said, “to allow them to better understand the importance of continuing to create these habitats and to populate them with fish produced through aquaculture partnerships, and to help them understand the necessity of conserving and protecting these critical habitats which are important to the economic sustainability of our charter fleet, our commercial fishermen, and our recreational fishermen.” More on this subject here at the Sun Herald.

      1. You have vectored in on certain very old leads I was given years ago. I think of Hemphill every time I traverse a certain section of Central Avenue in Waveland. Riddle me this. Chip Reno and the Talon Group tie in down here as well. Great stuff.

        1. Chip Reno and the Talon Group were actually deleted from this comment with some other material in the interests of publishing a comment and not a novel. I’ll continue with this when I get a chance. There are some other things to bring up with respect to items in the most recently released OIG draft audit report found at
          and some things not in it.


  6. Who is the “Hewes” partner in this team? I smell another rat. Is this Joe Zeigler’s nephew?

  7. Hewes is brother in law to joe Ziegler and created the only chief of staff position in any state agency in Mississippi to give him a job after bellsouth ran him out for stealing. I was a purchasing agent at DMR for many years and when I began to question what they were doing and told Tom Doster the business office director it was wrong I was appropriately punished the Feds need to look at the business office employes very closely they have known of the thievery for many years and played along with it I hope they get them

    1. Welcome aboard Janet. That Ziegler stuff has been openly circulating in the rumor mill for quiet sometime.

      1. Well it’s true… Story is he will take anything not nailed down. And let’s not forget he hired his wife on contract at the DMR to do nothing. If course we know that’s how it works there it all depends on who you know. My son is a very qualified army national guard highly trained, been to Iraq 2 times and Bosnia as well applied several times for a Marine Patrol position when it would become available. The last time a position came open it was given to the purchasing chiefs son I suspect because his mom was always in marine patrol having coffee with the chief it is things like this that has made me the bitter person that I am. I left the license position one year ago because of my health the phone receptionist filled in for 10 months everyday they opened the position up and of course she had to “apply” but guess what? She wasn’t qualified once again it was given to someone in the “click” oh, but she does have to cover license when this girl goes on lunch break or is out I guess she qualifies during those time frames. I really do hope they don’t stop with this investigation, I hope I am someday called to testifying I don’t hide behind a screen name because frankly I really don’t care if hey know who I am they drove me put of there because they knew I knew way too much going back many years,

        1. It will be real interesting to see how many checks Joe Ziegler signed to who and for what. He retired early and is enjoying his life I am sure except for the nightmares about suicides and imprisonment. I bet these days he is a real clock watcher. , Tick, Tick, Tick the clock is Ticking.

  8. Lots of good comments and info. It was a well known fact over in Jackson County that the Maxwell- Walker firm was trying to scuttle the jail construction/design process and have their man put in place . We now know they had the cooperation of at least one county supervisor had got the original deal scuttled. The Hemphill connection with these people is a fact and there is a lot more to be told to the public. The DMR boats were used by Maxwell -Walker as if they owned and paid the expenses but they did neither. The corruption within the DMR overflows in so many directions we will be shocked at all who benefited all the way to the top of the political stage. I hope the FBI reads Slabbed . There is a whole lot more here than speculation. Great post by RFP. You are sure to be nominated for a Bloggy this year and will get my vote. Thank you Janet Doucet. People like you must come forward and tell the truth about this criminal enterprise operated from the Bolton Building.

  9. Yes things that went on need to be told but I believe the investigators will get to all that were involved I worked in the purchasing department until I caught on to what was going on and when I questioned it I was “properly” punished. I do hope they go back at least 10 years and look into the former business office director who retired this stuff goes WAY back… All of the business office knew what was going on and went along with it I even questioned why “property” items were being coded with a repair code by the purchasing chief rather than a property code on these boats. Well of course we know the answer to that now. And the business office employees also are allowed to work a. “Flex” schedule 4 10 hour days and be off on Friday or Monday of course there 8-5 schedules never changed it is things like this that need to be looked in to.

    1. The extended comments are so Orleans Parish. “They are playing a game. They are playing at not playing a game. If I show them I see they are, I shall break the rules and they will punish me. I must play their game, of not seeing I see the game.” Of course, a political burden of proof is less than what is required for civil/criminal litigation even “if you support economic development that compliments the special nature of New Orleans.” Attorney Bill Borah once said to me: “You like to play games.” In Training Day, Denzel Washington, as Alonzo, crossed the line: “It’s not what you know, it’s what you can prove.” Therein lies the rub: who does the proof?

      1. When commenting, citing attribution of incorporated quotes is both informative and proper … “They are playing a game” is from R.D. Laing’s book of poems, KNOTS … there is a certain irony in referencing the acclaimed pychoanalyst Dr. Laing due to his extensive research on dysfunctional families and the politics of interpersonal relationships … ie the Walker family and their related DMR mess.

        1. Even before the issue of plagiarism arose with the Gambit, I felt that the use of quotation marks would suffice when commenting generally. The use of citation is a contextual question. In the interest of brevity, it may be best not to cite. In this instance, I concur that citation “is both informational and proper” and could inform an authentic staff retreat. In the final draft, at the end of the “They are playing a game” quote, I had written: R.D.Laing ‘knots’. On the issue of ‘Effectively Addressing New Orleans’ Blight Problems: Analysis of Proposed Revisions to Chapters 6, 26, and 28′, attorney David Marcello (Tulane’s Public Law Center) wrote: “We’ve “Been there, done that before…The problems we are facing with code enforcement may be primarily problems of implementation not legislative insufficiency.” So, my final draft was fine; the problem, which necessitated AI corrective action, was in the implementation of the comment. While typing, Thomas T. Cat jumped on my desk. I was not confused rather I was distracted from the task at hand. Please! I’m not kicking the cat. I accept responsibility for the omission; I wear Bobby Jindal big-boy-pants; I’ve seen The Vagina Monologues. As an old-newbie with slabbed nation, I heard “Cry Freedom” in Yup(Part 8): The Legend Spreads Uilleann Pipes. Since it was self-evident, I consciously omitted quotation marks when I lifted & adapted ‘Braveheart’ script to John Georges. Let us be clear. Braveheart was Scottish. In order to find his equal, we Irish are forced to talk to God. Sure, didn’t the Almighty send Jason Berry to watch my back on copyright plagiarism? He is “watching pretty closely” & “The Advocate is kicking ass and taking names.” Massa Jackie does NOT approve; she only controls city council happy good news. While visiting American Zombie, check out Herman, Herman & Katz at the TP. They hired & splashed Mr.Herbert Cade, the kissing judge, as a Man With a Firm Sense of Community. (CLE: “Love for Sale”). Sometimes I’m slow to connect dots. It was Yup(Part 10) that switched-on my heart light. Doug’s series of Yups was a Cox promotion for high speed internet. I saw it on Tee Vee while reading a Notice of Removal. Notice Cox’s disclaimer: “This isn’t scientific yet but it may be faster than the speed of light.” Of this I know, Huey Long’s wink & nod has been transmuted into telepathy. In a post-Katrina MIT lecture, Kristina Ford (CPC) is affirmed: the grapevine is faster than the internet in metro New Orleans yet it remains insular & parochial. The Irish know all about machine politics.

  10. The proof is so well hidden in the paper trail investigators need to know where to look. Such as a former wildlife employee made thousands of dollars while the business office was under another female director. They created him a vendor name and number to pay him. a couple of names he used that I know of was Boxlight productions and Carrie Rose productions. But this isn’t the only time relatives were used to perform work for the DMR under company names we all of course have read about the big ninety deal with Holmes construction Brother in law to Kerwin Cuevas) who by the way I heard had a girlfriend in the business office that covered up for him a lot. but even the director over the information technology department turned his brother on to some ” work” there. The attorney Runnels wife was hired to “design a coloring book of some sort and his soms and other employees children were hired on Contract during summer months. some that i recall were Bullard, jackson, cuevas, rose, just to name a few. This goes so deep but like I said so much is well hidden in the paperwork. I hope they get all involved questioning the business office staff is a good place to start.

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