Bless Their Poor Hearts, Which Suddenly Now Thirst for Knowledge

It would help if Mayor Dane would whip the other City Council persons in line so they could keep a consistent story:

This comes after Mayor Maxwell revealed last week the city is facing a $14 million budget deficit, and that the city and state are reviewing spending from 2012-2017. The city has already turned over financial records to the State Auditor.

“The misconception out there in the social media world is that we should have known this coming in,” the mayor said.

Maxwell took office in July. The budget had to be adopted by October. He said the city passed a budget based on the current numbers.

Bless their hearts this is what Councilman Scott Tipton told Karen Nelson:

It was a common practice in years past to move money from the utility fund into the general fund to balance the budget, Councilman Scott Tipton said Wednesday.

The only reason it wasn’t done in the last two years is that, “there was no money left in there to do it,” Tipton said.

So who are we to believe, Mayor Dane who claims not to have a clue but who had the September 30, 2016 audit which showed the general fund was broke waiting for him when he assumed office in July, 2017. Mayor Dane actually submitted the audit which showed the general fund was broke to the Office of the State Auditor in October, 2017. Or should we believe the City Councilman that just admitted raiding the Utility fund for years until it ran out of money. The financial mismanagement here crosses into the realm of malfeasance IMHO folks because Mayor Dane and Councilman Tipton were clearly mining money from the lemonade spring area of Big Rock Candy mountain.

Now, in an attempt to cover his own ass, Mayor Dane would seek to blame the secretaries and bookkeepers and yes folks, he called in the FBI on them to create more smoke. Such a strategy has risks though people because it is normally the State Auditor’s Office that terrorizes low level employees while letting the politically connected skate and new State Auditor Shad White may not like the competition from the FBI. Then again the FBI people probably went back to their office laughing and giggling at the self serving political hacks running things in Pascagoula.

Now a few observations since the Coast media is fully engaged here:

Yesterday at 6 the WLOX Anchor termed the problem in Pascagoula a “budget miscalculation”. We giggled like school girls hearing that. Luckily the Coast has Slabbed and we can explain things so that even an 8 year old can understand:

A second grade kid has $1 in his wallet to buy candy and also has saved $2 saved in a piggybank. The child sees a commercial advertising a big bucket of candy for $20. While his dad is sleeping, he takes Daddy’s credit card and skillfully orders the $20 bucket of candy. After Dad sees the credit card bill, how much money does the child still owe his Pops for the $20 purchase after Dad confiscates the child’s $3?

If you answered $17 you are correct. If you couldn’t figure it out you were probably watching WLOX last night.

Mayor Dane keeps throwing around the term “forensic audit” like it is somehow meaningful. Has anyone in the media taken the time to wonder if there is actually such a thing a forensic audit in professional standards? A good follow up would be is there a major implication for the City if, at this late date it hasn’t had it’s annual “Single Audit“, which was due to the Single Audit Clearinghouse on June 30, 2018?

Perhaps Mayor Dane is using the term “forensic audit” to deflect from his own culpability here by spreading blame as far back as he can and claiming he was somehow misled.

The fallacy in logic here can be illustrated courtesy of the Dominican nuns.  If Pascagoula’s previous Mayors and City Councils had gone to the Great Southern Club and jumped out of the window would Mayor Dane have done the same or would he have used his brain to figure out that self preservation would be the wiser course? In my mind the current administration bears the most blame because they tried to hide the sorry state of the City’s finances for months. After all wasn’t it just this past December when Mayor Dane made such a big deal of meeting his hero Donald Trump up in Jackson?

Pascagoula mayor meets with President Trump; says funding heading to Flagship City ~ WLOX

Pascagoula Mayor Dane Maxwell says there’s some big things in store for the city, following his meeting with President Donald Trump.

The encounter took place while the commander-in-chief visited the state for the the grand opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights and History Museums.

“I had good conversation with them on the tarmac when they got off air force one, I road in the motorcade with them,” Maxwell said.

He says he was able to catch up with Trump.

“I told him about our infrastructure issues and I told him about the damage we received from the hydrostatic pressure from the surge from Hurricane Nate,” Maxwell said.

Maxwell was also able to secure some time with Secretary Dr. Ben Carson. of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

“Great conversation, invited for me to come to his office come look at let me sit down and look at what we’ve put together our consultants as far as infrastructure repairs and and the capital projects report so we’re gonna do that after the first of the year,” he said.

As we reported, Maxwell is asking for $1.1 billion dollars to renovate and repair the city infrastructure. The money would support major projects like the relocation of the waste water treatment plant, the a new city hall complex and a complete re-haul of the city’s water lines and pipes. He says he is feeling optimistic after this weekends talks.

“Will we get 1.1 billion, 2.2 billion? I don’t know, maybe not on the first one, probably not on the first supplement. What if we get 10 percent of the 1.1 billion? I mean it’s better than what we have now, and anything that they give us I’m going to be appreciative of,” Maxwell said.

Mayor Dane seemed like he had a handle on the City’s finances last December. Makes one wonder if he fell and hit his head sometime after because now he is supposedly ignorant of the fact the City was broke. Maybe he is just another classic Jackson County lying, sack of shit politician?

Finally, in all the yammering in the media, one would hardly know that Pascagoula has a Council-City Manager form of Government. In fact after Mayor Dane was elected the City would even hire an assiatant City Manager:

The city has hired former City Councilman Frank Corder in the position of assistant city manager, something that’s new for the city. Pascagoula hasn’t had one of those since the early 2000s.

The position for hire appeared on the agenda for the City Council’s first meeting last week, but they took it off, observers said, and announced a July 11 work session.

But by the end of the week, Corder was at work at City Hall.

He didn’t need a vote of the council. He was hired at the will of the new interim City Manager Mike Mangum, former Jackson County supervisor, whom the City Council hired for the next six months.

Mangum said filling the assistant city manager position “is a necessity at this junction, given the vision of the new administration and the volume of work facing the city.”

Corder starts at a salary of $89,900. Mangum’s is $134,000.

Newly elected councilman Stephen Burrow said he has gotten calls and comments about the hire, and as a councilman he agrees with Mangum’s choice of Corder.

Burrow said Corder will be more than a spokesman for the city. He said he has acquired contacts with state and federal officials that will be of value and he appreciated Corder helping lead the transition team for six new council members.

In other words they hired a political operative to gain access to his contacts. I haven’t seen much of Frank in his spokesman’s role here lately but I’m sure he’s working every free money tree he knows, especially since Mayor Dane evidently struck out getting billions for the City from the Trump Administration. I’m not sure either is much of a bargain for the taxpayers in Pascagoula, who will certainly be stuck with the tab. At least Frank brings some business experience. Maybe he can educate Mayor Dane what happens after you borrow, borrow, borrow and then spend the money like a drunken sailor because the concept is not very hard.

Finally if you are a current or former City Employee and you feel like Mayor Dane is going to throw you under the bus to save his own ass, don’t get mad, get Slabbed and drop me a line.  We can’t change the players but we can do our best to make sure the process is conducted above board and if it isn’t expose it like we did with DMR and the Singing River Pension meltdown.

Stay tuned.

55 thoughts on “Bless Their Poor Hearts, Which Suddenly Now Thirst for Knowledge”

  1. They should hire Les Filingame to get them through this debacle unscathed. He did it with almost identical situation.

    1. Exactly. $358,000 in garbage collection payments and $300,000 in DOJ grant money, according to DOJ. To this day no one knows what it went for. Mike Favre, Lonnie Falgout, and Joey Boudin did their best to track it down, but they were portrayed as the enemy!
      WWL Radio just reported that the New Orleans Water and Sewer Board had thousands of delinquent accounts, thousands. POLITICS😫

  2. Oh my God
    Bay Saint Louis all over but bigger.
    Don’t expect jack from the state forensic audit team or the DOJ or tge FBI. They all sold their soles to the devil and sold their own team out, as did the DOJ with the misspending of their funds and the FBI with the payroll fraud and the FBI with the police slush fund and the misspending of utility money in the general fund and bankrupting the utilities.
    All swept it under the rug and the
    💩💩💩💩 head les stayed in office and is arrogant as hell planning on a run for office in 2021
    Even the papers and local tv station,13, helped cover it all up and called it a witch hunt, the 3 stooges are are behind this, portrayed lying les as the savior of the bay. Mr Casonova , he single handily brought the bay back from disaster after the storm. Except one reporter from the herald, don’t remember his name, but he had the 🏀🎱⚽️🏈 To print the truth.
    Thank you.
    Good luck Pascagoula but don’t expect help from anyone. They will promise to go after them but they want.
    Know how you all feel.
    That’s not where little Davy went is it?

    1. Can any one answer WHY, we are having to pay for all the months of back pay for the wrongful firing of the BAY Police by MF?
      The buck stops with the Mayor as Doug always says-
      Who is holding this Mayor Accountable -why are the taxpayers responsible for his stupidity?

  3. I’m in for the coming revelation of years worth of council agendas and packets along with the official minutes which record the suggestions, documentation and approval of all these financial imagineering transactions over the years.

    There is a way these things are done by statute, and I am betting all the little details were mostly followed by all the good little burrrocrats and electeds.

    If city bond proceeds in the millions (or possibly, based on the magnitude of the annual deficits incurred, tens of millions) of dollars haven’t been spent on the projects they were sold to fund, but rather have been transferred and spent on the city’s financial pipe dreams…if…then I’m putting my marker on indictments to go with all the shock and awe.

    1. PS: Best not to be the softball young Shadrack gets to swing at in the first inning. Because he’s looking to make his bones. If you are the softball then you are fixin to get hit outta the park if he wants to swing for the walls.

      I think Ooops for Pascagoula.

    2. Les Filingame and his attorney got away with it after being caught with the smoking gun! The deep state keeps them out of trouble.

  4. Bay St. Louis and now Pascagoula, but wait there are numerous cities in between these cities near the state lines I know Biloxi is just as crooked as gulfport is and they always get away with behind closed doors deals and wheeling over the citizens and NO Mississippi State Auitor has ever gone and done the right thing and prosecuted the guilty crooked crooks in any city in Mississippi. It is usually a secretary or low level employee taking as few bucks not bigwigs managers council majors or high level demigods that breed off this. I know the above doesn’t make sense but I typeinanger for this happening again and the city employee’s sufferings yesterday and this morning .. my prayers are out for you.

  5. You have to love these politicians. They have already started employee lay-offs. Did any of them volunteer to step down??!

  6. Les did the opposite. He started hiring people to lie! Wow they need to get Les n his attorney over there quickly while there is still time to deceive the law! He never did deceive the public that is why he hit the curb!

    1. Stupid,
      You are a hoot!! Hiring people to lie😂
      Would love to see their resume and sit in on the interview.😂🤣

  7. I can not believe, for the likes of me, that any of these Bible Belt Christian leaders are doing all you mean people are accusing them of! Why don’t you know they are pillars of the community?
    Our Coastal Legistators should be tarred and feathered! Along with the State Auditor and his officers for sitting back and letting this go on. But I forgot – our Legislators are all Bible Thumpers too. At least that is what they want people to believe. Bunch of hypocrites. These politicians have made our State the laughing stock of the Union. And we, as Taxpayers of this State, are stupid for letting it go on this long. Thank God for people like MS Lana. And thank you Doug for pointing it all out for the idiots who are supposed to be watching over the Taxpayers’ money. So sad. Maybe this new Auditor will have some kahunas and crack down on these thieves. It has to start somewhere. Let’s hope and pray for the best.
    BTW, anyone know where they shoved old Miller Lite off to and hid him? It has been quiet on the home front and Puhl-a$$-o and his Uncle Benny are enjoying the ride on our dime. Fancy new office on Lorraine/Cowan road for his nephew. Where do these worthless dregs on society come from? What a waste of this States’ money. Another life-long politician that should have never been elected. He won’t even attend his own town hall meetings. Another puppet for Sly and the family Stone.
    On another note – Is it, or is it not illegal for a State Employee to show any political bias. Why is a DMR employee allowed to go on leave to help Cindy Hyde Smith campaign? Her job will be held for her during this time. Am I the only one that sees a BIG problem with this? Jim Hood, are you paying attention?

    1. Charlene,
      The “leaders” in Pascagoula are solving the problem, honey. They are starting employee lay-offs. Yeah, they’ll get rid of the poor secretaries and that level, but will their irresponsible selves step down?!!!!
      Somebody told me a long time ago–YOU DON’T KILL A SNAKE BY CUTTING OFF ITS TAIL, YOU HAVE TO REMOVE THE HEAD!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. They should start hiring people to corroborate their story. I don’t have Les Filingame contact info but they need to get it quick! He can get em off the hook! He is product of what is is! LIL!

  9. Doug, your anti-Trump angst got the better of you on this post. The clue to what really went down in Pascagoula is to note who said what. “Ward 5 city councilman Scott Tipton was the lone returning council member retained by the citizens of Pascagoula.” He is the last man of the old guard that either did not know what a financial statement was, or, willing voted to raid bond proceeds to pay for general expenses. The remaining members of the council were all sworn in one year ago. Many had no experience in city government and none in accounting. Like anyone new on a job it takes a while to figure out what the numbers mean and then to start to question the numbers. (In the ideal digital world of rant and ravers this period of reality does not exist.) Give the new guy/gal 3-4 months to understand something is amiss with city finances and another 2-3 months to get answers to questions that don’t add up. When the new council gained focus that the audits did not add up they hired a forensic auditor. He started near March. He released his report in July. His report said, “the current financial crises cannot be readily ascertained from the City’s financial reports because the City has recorded general obligation bond proceeds in the general fund. These proceeds were not adequately segregated and restricted in the annual audit reports of the City through the year September, 2016. We understand that these amounts will be separated in the audit report for the year ended September 30, 2017, which is scheduled for release soon.” To blame the current administration is simply absurd. They blew the whistle, ended the raiding of bond money for general expenses, and, already have made unpopular but necessary choices to right the ship. So like Dane or dislike Dane because he likes Trump and you don’t – I could care less. But the real story is how the past “leaders” either ignored or buried the raiding of bond proceeds and that those “leaders” directed bond funds into a single general account. The big shame of your post is that with your audit background you should be able to write a truly factual story about how Pascagoula misspent bond proceeds over the many, many past administrations. It would do our community and this City a service. ( You might consider praising the current administration for doing the right thing on this too but that’s up to you.) But Pete’s sake Doug, get this story right and inform.

    1. Let me say out of the box, Raul, I am not an auditor, far from it, and I understand at what a disadvantage the newly elected officials operated this past year in Pascagoula. Same thing happened to us in Waveland. But, what I don’t understand is while the Council in Pascagoula is new, the State Auditor, Pickering, and his staff in Jackson are not new, and have been receiving audits from this city for a long time. Did none of them notify Pascagoula City Manager or City Clerk or both, that the jig was up. They appeared in person in Waveland, and threatened to take over the city if our newly elected Mayor and half of our new Aldermen didn’t come up with a plan by day’s end. That happened two months into the new administration. That is why we have state elected officials supposedly with the expertise to oversee these situations, and ACT on behalf of the citizens they represent, and who compensate them to do so.

    2. Raul I appreciate hearing from you. I think you are being a bit too charitable, especially to Maxwell. Go back and read the extensive coverage of the Bay’s finances here on Slabbed. You’ll see quickly that the cash flow crisis manifested itself in the summer months, after the bulk of the property taxes have been collected. That last fiscal quarter is usually the worst quarter. The Council had a City Manager and an assistant in place in July 2017 and there was not a mass turnover of accounting staff from all appearances, except for the “comptroller” who was fired in December 2017 according all the media reporting. Couple that with the 2016 audit dated for the end of June 2017, received by OSA in October 2017 where the problems were on full display in the financial statements. The Lecher-in-Chief has nothing to do with my opinion in this area as much as that fact pattern I just recited. Pascagoula spends big money on Admin there at City Hall and those weren’t Blevins’ people, those were Dane’s boys.

      As for the grandstanding on his special relationship with the Lecher-in-Chief, that’s lagniappe friend.

      You bring up some important points because you are 100% correct that Blevins spent an entire $8MM bond issue on recurring expenses and that is where the reporting gets interesting because it raises a question if the City is still living off debt proceeds because that implies the current administration has done the same thing. What the public really needs to see is the 9/30/2017 single audit, that otherwise mythical document that Maxwell is referring to as a forensic audit. That one document would answer a lot of questions about how much blame the current bunch bears here. Maxwell would do well to listen a bit more closely to Jennifer Colmer, who has exhibited a level of competence greatly in excess of that shown by that Tipton ding-dong.

      Here are a few questions I’d like to see answered.

      Is a deficit fund balance in the general fund a legal violation? Did the Deficit fund balance cause any covenant defaults in the City’s various debt instruments? The 2016 audit was silent with respect to those questions, which immediately popped into my mind reading the 2016 audit. Speaking of which at what point does a City spending bond money issued for another purpose constitute an internal control issue. Again that kind of thing screams “Material Weakness” to me but the 2016 audit was silent on that issue. In the Bay, which was never in as deep as Pascagoula is right now, had its auditors in for a public discussion with the Council about having “Going Concern” issues. Again the 2016 audit is silent there.

      RFP and I are thinking alike but the difference between my viewpoint on the outside looking in is that blaming the former comptroller is being very dishonest vis-a-vie what Maxwell’s team had to know as the City had to be experiencing cash flow issues in a major way last Summer into the fall.

      1. Let’s start with some facts of the undisputed kind.

        Fact 1: New Mayor and Council-people were sworn in July 3, 2017.
        Fact 2: They got financials for their very first council meeting in August. But those financials include only the year end report ending Sept. 30, 2016. Other current financials would only show “general account balance at $x.xx, monthly revenue at $x.xx, and monthly expenses at $x.xx – plus accumulated totals.”
        Fact 3: Only a forensic audit would discern what portion of the SINGLE ACCOUNT the City had previously maintained up until that point was pledged (for lack of a better) as the bond fund portion of the general account historically.
        Fact 4a: As your rightly point out the 2016 audit (prepared when the new council members and mayor weren’t even running for election yet) did not distinguish the pledged portion of the general fund.
        Fact 4b: http://www.osa.ms.gov/documents/municipalities/2016/16mPascagoula-cpa.pdf
        That 2016 year audit was presented to the City on June 29, 2017 – a few days BEFORE the new admin. was sworn into office.
        Fact 5: The PRIOR ADMIN. did not follow best practices by segregating bond and general accounts AND did not properly comply with statutory budget requirements.
        Fact 6: The PRIOR ADMIN. “experienced problems in maintaining adequate accounting records with respect to the bond related expenditures.” The PRIOR ADMIN did the record keeping manually – (read into this what you want ;))
        Fact 7: The forensic audit found “prior period adjustments distorted operating trends”. This means the PRIOR ADMIN. was taking 1 time payments (like Katrina or BP money) and straight using it for general expenses – but a base look at the year-in financials would not show this.
        Fact 8: The PRIOR ADMIN. booked that it spent money from a bond fund to fix its harbor – but no documents support this money was actually spent on the harbor.
        Fact 9: Immediately upon receipt of the forensic audit – conducted mid-year and not end year – the current administration blew the whistle, contacted the state auditor’s office, the IRS, the feds and the attention paying public. That is their job. Compare to the PRIOR ADMIN. that swept ALL OF THIS MONKEY BUSINESS under the rug year after year.
        Fact 10: No new bonds have been issued since the new administration was elected and not segregated.

        Facts for which Slabbed can boost its page count if it can get it’s cross-hairs on target:
        Fact 11: https://www.sunherald.com/news/local/counties/jackson-county/article144038524.
        Fact 12: On the eve of election, 2017, and 7 days passed the above resignation, the Past Admin. passed through another GO Bond for $12,500,000. http://www.cityofpascagoula.com/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Minutes/_04182017-146
        Fact 13: When you get the 2017 year audit 100% that year’s budget was set by the PRIOR ADMIN. and 50% of the revenue/expenditures occurred under the PRIOR ADMIN.
        Fact 14: http://blog.gulflive.com/mississippi-press-news/2017/03/city_of_pascagoula_will_elect.html (Rats and the ship sort of thing…)
        Fact 15: The PRIOR ADMIN. May 5, 2017 a changing of the guard was coming. http://blog.gulflive.com/mississippi-press-news/2017/05/pascagoula_city_council_to_wel.html
        But what did the PRIOR ADMIN DO: http://www.cityofpascagoula.com/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Minutes/_05182017-148

        Doug, get on this story and get on it quick. This is low hanging fruit for you. I bet mucho dinero a couple of folks see an indictment.

        As for the new mayor and council; I am not here to carry their water. But they were not Carnack the Magician. Mi Dios! They figured it out over a period of months, got a forensic audit and then announced to the world that there’s a huge problem and did not sweep anything under a rug. The thanks from Slabbed is a poke in the eye and not a batted eyelash towards the Prior Admin. Mi Dios Dos!! When government admits a problem, brings it to the front and starts to deal with it I usually think they did the right thing.

        And I’m not here for Mr. Maxwell’s sake either. I’m stating all this because I am spotting media bias in Slabbed. I like Doug and this site a lot. I believe in total sunshine. That includes challenging Slabbed when I think it is not on point. With that said – I hereby challenge Doug to specifically state the following dates: 1. Maxwell should have known the prior administration cooked the books and overspent its bond money 2. the date he hired a forensic auditor to bring it out to light 3. and how many YEARS the prior administration knew and swept it all under with new bond issues? And if dates 1 and 2 are within a “reasonable” period of time – we should all ask the question if Dane wasn’t some Trumper, would he even be the focus of this article? I leave you with this about bias: Thus, the job of journalists is not to stamp out bias. Rather, the journalist should learn how to manage it. And to do that, the journalist needs to become conscious of the biases at play in a given story and decide when they are appropriate and may be useful, and when they are inappropriate. Now my facts versus your first story…

        1. That’s an absolute lie, “Raul”.

          The Council got revenue and expenditure reports for period ending July 31, 2017 in their packets on August 15, 2017. It’s all online for anyone to see on the City’s webpage.

          1. That’s not true at all “Raul”.

            The reports provided for period ending July 31, 2017 are all online at the City’s webpage in the packet the Council received on August 15, 2017. They had the information.

          2. Revenue and expenditure reports do not reflect the source of money in the general fund. The source of the general fund is THE issue in the con game the former councilmen and mayor were playing with the public. The new council had 90 days to set the FY’17-’18 budget using the R&E reports that were cooked by the prior administration anyway. That’s a fact, not a lie.

            1. You clearly had accounting information very early in your term that precisely reflected the status of everything. Every detail is in there. That is an ACTUAL fact.

              But you either didn’t know how to read it or decided it didn’t matter because Boss Hogg was going to get all of that money from the Feds. How’s that going for you?

              You’ve now overspent revenue THIS year by several million. How do you blame that on the previous administration?

      2. Is a deficit fund balance in the general fund a legal violation? Did the Deficit fund balance cause any covenant defaults in the City’s various debt instruments?

        Yes. Yes.

        The governing authorities of each municipality of the State of Mississippi shall, not later than September 15 each year, prepare a complete budget of the municipal revenues, expenses and working cash balances estimated for the next fiscal year, and shall prepare a statement showing the aggregate revenues collected during the current year in said municipality for municipal purposes. Miss. Code Ann. § 21-35-5

        Expenditures made, liabilities incurred, or warrants issued in excess of any of the budget detailed appropriations as originally and finally determined, or as thereafter revised by transfer as provided by this chapter, shall not be a liability of the municipality, but the official making or incurring such expenditure or issuing such warrant shall be liable therefor personally and upon his official bond. Miss. Code Ann. § 21-35-17

        Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and punished as provided by law, which shall be in addition to any other penalty now or hereafter imposed by law. Miss. Code Ann. § 21-35-33

        As for the covenants, once they are issued as tax-free a whole host of IRS regulations and covenants get breached.

      3. Last post –

        The proceeds of any bonds issued by a municipality shall be placed in the municipal treasury or depository, if there be one, as a special fund, and shall be used for no other purpose than that for which such bonds were authorized to be issued. If the governing authorities of such municipality, or any member thereof, or any other officer, shall wilfully divert, or aid or assist in diverting any such fund, or any part thereof, to any purpose other than that for which such bonds were authorized to be issued, then such person shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state penitentiary for a term not exceeding five years and, in addition, he shall be liable personally and on his official bond for the amount so diverted. Any member of such governing authorities may escape the penalty provided for above by requesting and having his vote recorded in the negative on any illegal diversion of the proceeds of such bonds.

        Miss. Code Ann. § 21-33-317

        Yup, this is a going to be a felony.

        1. Raul,
          I know you don’t want to post on this again, but “WHO” has committed this felony?! I know the Council and new Mayor are on the hot seat, but what about the ones who handle the money on a daily basis for the city—aren’t they under a City Manager form of government? What about City Clerk, Comptroller? WHO?
          When the $300,000 in DOJ funds went missing in the Bay in 2011, the Council knew nothing about it. Mayor and City Clerk never informed them they had co-mingled it. Technically, the Council spent it when it was co-mingled into the General Fund, but had no idea they had done so until it was too late. Now, that was a Federal Grant, but had restrictions on it as well– could only be used for unbudgeted Police Department expenditures. The city incurred a loss over it too. The Police Department had to be vacated last year because of a mold issue. That money could have been used to remediate that issue. But it was GONE! I sat at the red light at the intersection of Main and Highway 90 in the Bay the other day, looking at the empty Police Station thinking how sad that is. They all got off the hook. Very sad, because the citizens were levied a tax against their property to pay for surety bonds on all of the ones who caused this. No one will revoke the bonds.
          Thus my new slogan–“Just stick it to the folks!”

          1. It appears to me that the Filingame Admistration gave a tutorial to the Pascagoula elected elite on how to comingle, misappropriate and deceive the public! It almost makes you hope they don’t spend our money on investigating as we know it is slim to none to get teeth in it. But almost is a big word! They need to chase them down and levy any reasonable punishment available by law! Then reopen our claims against our previous administration!

            1. Rod,
              If any action is taken against the Pascagoula City Clerk, former Mayor, Council, City Managers, or any other officials who misappropriated this money, the Bay St. Louis situation needs to be revisited immediately. You are 100% correct. Do not hold your breath waiting for the current Bay officials to act. We don’t want to lose you!!! It is going to have to come from the top in Jackson. Yall got screwed BIG TIME!!! And you incurred a loss—drive by your shut down police station for starters.

          2. The statute says, “If the governing authorities of such municipality, or any member thereof, or any other officer, shall wilfully divert, or aid or assist in diverting any such fund” then the diversion of money is a felony action. Governing authorities means the council and mayor in that form of municipal government. “Officers” is not defined in that part of the code specifically, but by reading 21-15-1, et. seq., that terms likely includes the Chief Admin. Officer, City Attorney, and Municipal Clerk.

            1. Raul,
              It would be a stretch to imagine that those who handle the money on a daily basis, and recommend expenditures to Council (claim dockets, budgets, etc.) are absolved from this misappropriation mess in both cities.
              Are Bay St. Louis and Pascagoula the “misappropriation book ends” of the Gulf Coast?!

        2. Whoever the real “Raul Armero” is, it’s to bad your name is being used in vein. This “Raul” sounds like a council member, city administrator or someone VERY close to said person. Surely many of us reading Slabbed know this. 😳

            1. When you two get it wrong, you get it way wrong. First, I can assure you that I am in no way affiliated with the City of Pascagoula. Second, by even making your asinine comments about who I may or may not be you’re distracting from the real issue – the City’s got a big, fat deficit that is going to cause a ton of problems to folks like me that do business in or live in Pascagoula. I only posted here because I am frustrated with the abysmal level of local reporting. The “local paper” can’t get a fact straight nor understand basic accounting. The “local paper” does not even comprehend the City’s prior years’ audits and budgets, it failed to report the overspending during the years it occurred and still has not done a real report on the City’s finances. It’s latest article professes to still be “mystified”. Our founding fathers gave the press the very first amendment to do this particular job and the Ms. Press has just sucked at its oversight job.

              I want accountability for this financial fiasco. So I posted here to get facts out to interested readers and see if anyone can put out more. These are public facts I found by doing my own research. Read through my links, I set out facts from which everyone can get a better understanding.

              And what do you two morons do? Question my identity. No wonder Cities around the coast are doing this crap with their finances. Jack-leg, dufus, internet sleuths like you two get distracted by a squirrel. But to quibble a fool…

              If you want to pounce on Frank Corder or Dane Maxwell because of facts, then post the facts and I will join you. I have no dog in their fight and I am not going to carry their water. But what I KNOW AS AN ABSOLUTE FACT is that the 2017 year audit was only produced in late June, 2018. The current council and mayor “served” for three (3) months under that year’s (2017) budget. Moreover, the entire 2017 budget was set in 2016 by the PRIOR ADMIN before anyone on the current council/mayor announced to even run for election – let alone set spending priorities. Some informed citizens smelled rats across the city in 2017 and voted in new, fresh faces. Those fresh faces came clean about a big ole’ problem. I want them to fix it. They’ve done the right thing so far. I want the past council members and mayor to be responsible for their crimes of failing to adhere to non-deficit budgets.

              So for goodness you two dolts get your cross-hairs on the prior administration to make an example out of them so we don’t see these problems in the future. Or, you could just keep looking at elected offices as your players on a football field and root like heck for your team. Keep overlook all the penalties the refs didn’t call because your loyalty to your team trumps loyalty to good government. Wear your blue jersey or your anti-Trump jersey and cheer. And to think you get the same vote as me…Mi Dios!

              1. Thou doth protest too much! And name calling – morons and dolts, now really – please stay above the fray or your face will go red to match your red jersey.

              2. Blue jersey? That’s the funniest thing I’ve heard all year. Why would you think this has anything to do political parties? There are crooks of both colors and you can’t hide behind that either.

                Careful what you ask for because I would think that if anyone has legal issues with regard to the method of accounting I’d think it would be one of the people in the current administration who was also part of the prior Maxwell regime. The audit report seems to indicate you were doing the same thing back then and I’d bet that’s where it started.

                And your current regime kept doing it until you realized you weren’t going to get all that free money from DC. So you thought it was okey dokey for a year but now it’s criminal?

    1. Pascagoula is running daily operations off borrowed money, bmBonds issued for another purpose to be exact.

      1. If issued for another purpose, is it legal to pay PERS out of those bond funds? Will the two City Managers and City Clerk have to answer for any of this?
        When Fillingame and his Clerk, Kolf, spent the DOJ money on whatever, nothing happened to them, because, according to the OSA, the city did not incur any loss. I beg your pardon. They lost their police station. That $300,000 in DOJ funds could have gone toward remediating the mold issue in the station. Now the Chief and his staff are in a room in the first floor of city hall, which I think housed the permit office. Where were they relocated to? Didn’t incur a loss??!!
        OSA is toothless, and these conniving crooked politicians know it, or none of this would happen to the taxpayers. Now, Bryant has appointed Pickering to run the VA Board. The VA has enough problems, but rest assured, it’s getting ready to have more!!

      2. When I get a little free time maybe I’ll look for the sinking funds and see whether they are taking water like everything else.

  10. Lana , OSA took their money from BSL and ran. Made promises, in writing may I say , and did nothing. Lied to the council and citizens of BSL.
    Misspent Federal Funds from DOJ.
    Illegal Raises.
    Spent utility money on the general budget.
    Bankrupted the utility funds and unable to pay bills.
    Bond, WaistWater, Garbage, 4-5 months behind and than lied to the council and citizens about how great everything was.
    Payroll Fraud, gave a going away part for her and still paid her for years.
    Illegal documents in the new bond that council never new about or voted on and was not put in the bond book.
    Gun Running.
    Shake Down Account.
    We can go on for days over here in the Bay about wrong doing and nothing happens and I am not talking about pennies and nickels.
    Pickering washed everything under the rug. He should be locked up as well. And what happens to him , he gets appointed to the VA board. Disappointed Gov.
    Leader? Threw his staff under the bus and rolled their ass over with a freight train.
    So we here in the Bay and Waveland know and feel for our neighbors to the east.
    But I will say, don’t expect Jack from the state.
    Good Luck neighbors
    Good job Doug

      1. Lana is there a possibility of forming a group of citizens to put pressure on the FBI to step in to these situations since our State Leaders REFUSE to follow the law? Maybe a group approaching Washington might get some attention somewhere? It is evident that the local FBI won’t step in and do anything. What are our options? Any ideas?

        1. Not to be sarcastic, Charlene, but probably not in an election year!!! I have come to the conclusion that the ones in office who have the authority to revoke bonds, don’t care enough to do it. The best approach is to just expose them when they do something wrong. Let everyone know how they operate. The public has the right to know, and it’s going to be up to the public, because the elected officials won’t. No guts.

          1. How have we come to this Lana? Are all of these people that are robbing us born and raised on the Coast? I feel like we’ve been invaded by a bunch of aliens. Of course, we all know that the Coast has had some black eyes in the past, but NEVER so blatant as what has been going on since these supposedly Christian raiders took over this State. No need for them to complain about give aways to welfare and the like. No need for them to complain about OBamacare….They have stolen more in the past years than the poor people have taken. If they do blame OBama or the Democrats, …they are hypocrites because they have done worse! They have sold their souls to the devil. And they want more and more lavish life styles. I just can’t understand how they can stoop so low. Their egos and greed has certainly gotten the better of them and their morals (if they ever had any to begin with) are long gone. I grieve for humanity in our neck of the woods. Lots of souls gone astray with no redemption in sight. Hopefully, something will happen or someone with some integrity will step in and get this State back on track. It will have to be a special individual that is fearless and can’t be bought under any condition.

  11. In Pascagoula we are under mob rule by the Republican Guard. We were always a poor city compared to other coast cites with a casino based taxed deferred system. The the mob came led by Insane Dane Maxwell with his hand selected mob attorney Ryan Fredrick. To make it worse there is talk of making this thug the leader of a combined position. Make sense to me, this idiot led us to 14 million of debt Andrew let’s promote him. Give him a 100,000 plus annual salary. That will make it right. Meanwhile the realignment of Market Street is almost complete to benefit the mob Republican Guard and their friends. Otherwise if you are a legitimate tax paying business to get a mile and a half of median for your business. The cronies of Insane Maxwell get the turn bays. Don’t want to slow down those free donuts in the morning while you are spending our city into ruin. And Shaddy White will do little more than Rat Pickering did. A few city secretaries and maintenance employees will be falsely accused and convicted of stealing pencils and paper clips. 14 million dollars in misspending solved at the expense of the tax paying city employees. That’s the best senario. Meanwhile Rat Pickering scurries down the sewer with a big fat pay raise to run the veterans of the state into ruin. This Rat is a criminal that needed to be in the next cell with Walker. This Bazoka nosed Governor is now preparing his list of Trump pardons. Top of the list is Tina Schumate and Bill. I am also hearing that Amoeba Spraggins plans to shut down the DMR for a Baptist revival on September 20. So you taxpaying citizens of the coast don’t plan to do business on that day. Unless you want some Baptist sermon with that fishing license. Jesus Davis poising himself to be the next Director of the DMR. With his move to the Tower of Babylon to run the DMR by default. Oh and the true second in command, the Executive Snack Secretary.

  12. Interesting that you mention in this article the Mayor’s claims of the “…hydrostatic pressure from the surge from Hurricane Nate…”.

    At the time, he was saying that we had suffered an 11-foot surge that caused a massive amount of damage to our infrastructure from “hydrostatic pressure”. And they even published one video of a single storm sewer manhole (barely) overflowing with water as some sort of proof. (Tip: Manholes are also engineered vents to release pressure and PREVENT damage such as was being claimed.)

    Just a guess but with our elevations, I think that an 11-foot surge would have flooded properties at least a half-mile to a mile inland. But houses on the beach only had debris about a third of the way up in their front yards. How could that be?

    Online records of the storm say that the highest surge was approximately 6-feet around Coden, Alabama, which is about 25 miles east of Pascagoula. As someone who was physically in Pascagoula during Nate, I can say that this sounds about right.

    When the Mayor started making this claim, I know someone who asked members of the City’s planning and engineering staff if there was an engineering study that had been done to support this request to the Feds. Apparently, no such study exists.

    Seems like just another bunch of BS from a bunch of amateur jackasses.

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