The many times over the past 7 years or so that I have communicated with a well placed source, invariably the information imparted is also accompanied by restrictions on its use and disclosure of the source. It has occurred to me that I disclose much less about these people, than say the AP, who will describe a source like “someone in government that requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak with the media”. My description would probably include a janitor and a homeless drunk but Slabbed has built up enough street credibility that we can get by with that. Even better it help protect the folks that are sharing information. It is no secret that in the Yenni Building at least one and I think more dragnets have been run trying to figure out the identity of the famous (infamous) Wino of Lafayette Square so I understand the restrictions and manage to thrive figuring ways around them without shutting off the information flow.
All that said I’ll report now that outdoor living during the Polar Vortex was too much, even for the indefatigable Wino, and she died last Winter. Now a moment of silence:
I buried my lead to make a point but from Slabbed’s DMR coverage I would posit it is safe for the reader to assume Slabbed has a kick ass source or two or three on the topic. These folks are located from Jackson and points south all the way to the Mississippi sound and some of what you’ll read here is reflected in what they have told me and what I continue to tell hear.
First off the bad news as it regards the DMR Foundation Boats. It is almost safe to assume that most everyone in the local and State GOP power structure got a ride and was wined and dined. The US Attorney and Scott Walker’s lawyer Arthur Madden mentioned a few of the political trips to make their points during Tuesday’s hearing and the choices were interesting. Anita Lee and Justin Mitchell well covered that in fact:
Bill Walker used some of the money to buy furniture for his son, and to entertain U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran, plus a former gubernatorial staffer, and unnamed state officials, a federal judge, mayors and business people at different times.
Man o man what a list. Whose name was dropped? The choices were interesting in Thad, Jackson County Banker Todd Trenchard and current Hancock County Port Authority Executive Director Ashley Edwards. Edwards gets credit for the post title:
Ashley Edwards, then head of the governor’s office of Katrina recovery, wrote: “I just thank you again for having me on the fishing trip Saturday. I thoroughly enjoyed the fishing and the fellowship.”
Bill Walker’s email account sounds like it would be right up my alley given the mucho prior experience we have with such things here on Slabbed but alas he is already in the pokey. All this came out during State Auditor’s Office Investigator Chris Lott’s testimony. Lott testified because the US Attorney was going for sentencing enhancements. They were attempting to show how involved Scott Walker was with the “mud hole” at DMR. Lott did much better on the witness stand this time emphasizing the Foundation’s illegal revenue stream, which in turn rendered every expense derived from those revenues illegal. The logic is simply incontrovertible.
In the end it mattered not as Arthur Madden turned what the government was doing against them. Madden’s style was completely different from Bill Walker’s lawyer Bill Kirksey as he was very understated in comparison yet just as effective as the Government lost its motion for a sentencing enhancement. Based on what I heard Judge Starrett called it right. Lifers here may remember the then acting US Attorney tried a similar tactic with Aaron Broussard involving his bribery and money laundering schemes based outta Nova Scotia so I felt like I was caught up in some sort of weird time warp though the legal issues involved were distinct. I knew where it was going and it was actually Judge Starrett that asked Lott the knockout questions. The problem was knowledge and intent.
Judge Starrett imposed the 18 month sentences and the public was outraged judging from the comments left here. Someone that was there and outraged even sent me a picture of the Mercedes Team Walker used to travel to the courthouse.
But it wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns for Team Walker:
— Justin Mitchell (@Journalism_J) July 23, 2014
Finally, the name Todd Trenchard entered the public’s consciousness as his name also came up for getting a nice taxpayer funded booze cruise for himself and several of his closest friends. The mention of Trenchard’s name caused Anita and Justin to start twitching like mexican jumping beans when it came up, which is exactly what I did when Ashley Edward’s name was dropped. These are good days to be in muckraking in South Mississippi.
Up next is Joe Ziegler as now there is only one DMR Federal defendant left that is slated for trial in Tina Shumate, For my money, players like Scott Walker could never have existed without folks like Tina Shumate and Bill Walker in the power structure. It is at this point that I will disclose that some time ago, I received what I’ll term a care package and the contents of that package are what I believe to be 100% genuine Mississippi public records of the variety that Jim Hood and Stacey Pickering would fight to the bitter end to never let the light of day shine upon. While these documents still contain a mystery that I could not crack, I heard enough in the various courtrooms to know that if authentic, they appear to be devastating to Ms. Shumate. Stay tuned.