Flip this property back and forth: D’Iberville does another real estate deal (get ready to grab yer ankles)

But first some lovely dance music:

D’Iberville agrees to sell Ocean Expo land in whale of a deal ~ Mary Perez

And Mary invokes Rube Goldberg which in turn got my radar up – well that and the fact the buyer of the old Ocean Expo land is the company that sold it to the City to begin with: Continue reading “Flip this property back and forth: D’Iberville does another real estate deal (get ready to grab yer ankles)”

Who dunnit ? Let’s solve the DEQ / BP City of D’Iberville Ocean Expo grant mystery (Updated)

First the mystery:

If Gouras did not nab the grant and Maxwell-Walker did not nab the grant who in the heck helped the City of D’Iberville get that DEQ grant? Seems to me that $3,000,000 DEQ grants to build aquariums do not grow on trees here in Mississippi. Given Anita’s quotes from Team Walker, who attended the hearing, I imagine their spidey senses were tingling too, especially since Janus gave a qualified admission of guilt that required some clarification for Judge Starrett. Janus knoweth not what anyone from the DEQ or Gov’s office would say about that matter and he was right to clarify his admissions, as laid out in the factual basis of the Janus plea, which hopefully will hit PACER soon.

I just had a conversation with a source that I will describe as not a politician or member of the investigative community but who possesses specialized knowledge of the operations of the Barbour Administration. Biloxi Blues has come very close to nailing it in comments twice now:

I think the answer might be Bill Walker with the DMR….

Let’s tell the story as it was told to me. First up is a link I put out this morning on Twitter from the Sun Herald’s Mary Perez circa January 26, 2013:

Janus said he had written three letters to Gov. Haley Barbour’s office in an attempt to get funding, with no success……

I did not include the whopper Janus told immediately after the quote but now I understand exactly how the Government is planning to crush the Walkers, specifically Scott on the DEQ grant charges he now faces alone. My source indicate to me that Janus in fact tried much harder than writing three letters and in one instance the lobbying between he and a Continue reading “Who dunnit ? Let’s solve the DEQ / BP City of D’Iberville Ocean Expo grant mystery (Updated)”

Janus plea hearing: Magilla the Gorilla in the room

Magilla the Gorilla via Wiki

I had to laugh at the remarks of one of the assembled defense attorneys, who made my acquaintance today telling me how much he enjoyed my Louisiana coverage.  The assembled media included Warren Kulo, Ruth Ingram, Doug Walker, Jeff Amy and Anita Lee plus one blogger.

Ironically the session started off with what was billed as a quick true up hearing for a civil case that quite frankly caught my interest as much as the Janus plea hearing.  Judge Starrett knows his damages including exhibiting some specialized knowledge of the sand and gravel business that was quite impressive.  I’ll leave the inside chatter on the inside but Judge Starrett continued the hearing because the numbers did not make sense to him.  I followed the lawyer out of the courtroom with my business card (day job) in case the Plaintiffs decided to reach out for some help.  Damages I know.

Lest I digress there are three points I want to make but before I make them we need to visit with the best two accounts of the hearing in no particular order:

Janus pleads guilty to fraud, will testify against Scott Walker ~ Anita Lee

Janus changes plea to guilty on fraud charges ~ Jeff Amy

As I said on twitter Janus was solemn throughout.  HIs face had an ashen hue and eye circles Continue reading “Janus plea hearing: Magilla the Gorilla in the room”

I’m very pleased to report

That House Bill 44 has cleared some very important procedural hurdles and remains very much alive, now assigned to the House Judiciary committee. On the not so good news front it appears Representative Richard Bennett of Long Beach may have snookered the Sun Herald last month. I mention this because in January the paper ran a story about Bennett working with Auditor Pickering to insure every state agency is audited. Heck, they even did an editorial on it. I know I’ve been checking periodically to see how Bennett’s legislation is doing and everytime I go to his legislative web page this is what I see on that issue:

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…….

That’s right folks, it appears Bennett was blowing smoke up Stan Tiner’s hiney which is likely why we got this OpEd today:

Rather than piecemeal accountability, require annual audits of all state agencies ~ Sun Herald Editorial Board Continue reading “I’m very pleased to report”

D’Iberville forfeits a cool million. Sponsored by JaWa investments

The shoes are beginning to drop in Walkergate.

D’Iberville must forfeit $1.1 million of $3 million Ocean Expo grant ~ Mary Perez

Meantime the Byrd is still the word.  Margaret Baker uses Alabama changing its retirement statute to exclude certain felons as the example in her story on soon to be former Jackson County Sheriff Mike Byrd being able to collect his PERS retirement benefits despite copping to a felony.  Slabbed lifers well remember it was the former Dragon Queen Aaron BrousStar that caused Louisiana to pass such a statute back in 2011.

Finally the fog tells me Christmas season has arrived in South Mississippi. How about some lovely music: Continue reading “D’Iberville forfeits a cool million. Sponsored by JaWa investments”

Bump: Taxpayers on the hook in D’Iberville after consulting scam collapses

RFP in comments on Today’s auditing moment: Fictitious Vendor Embezzlement

The forecast is for increased heat in the City of D’Iberville.
Ocean Expo’s delay means taxpayers may pay first bond note

D’IBERVILLE — City officials expected Ocean Expo Aquarium to be built and open by now and ticket prices to cover the cost of repaying the bond to purchase the land.

Instead the city may have to make the initial $318,668 payment — due in September — out of the general fund.

A visit to EMMA has been scheduled to do some digging into the official statement.

Additional Ocean Expo:
Can anyone provide information on the contract for site work at the Ocean Expo site?

IMMS solicited bids for “site preparation Phase 1″; the Daily Journal Of Commerce Gulf Coast (see page 17) reported that a local firm by the name of SH Anthony was among the plan holders. Bids were due on August 9, 2012. Was a contract let? Or was this the work that Harrison County did? (See Sun Herald article).

“A clean, good opinion”!? Which one???

I always get a charge from local press coverage of GAGAS / SIngle Audit presentations because what are seemingly simple concepts are actually mind numbingly arcane.  Luckily for the reader, my mind has previously been numbed with this bit of arcanity so along those lines I got a chuckle at Mary Perez’s rendition of the D’Iberville City Council meeting where their FYE September 30, 2012 SIngle Audit report was presented.

First things first folks as the audit submission is late (it was due on June 30, 2013) and that gives a clue as to the state of the finance department at the City.  Good, clean records are easy to audit and those entities with good, clean records typically are not late with audit submissions. In fact, my experience has been that auditees with good, clean records typically have their audits wrapped up 3 to 4 months after the fiscal year end.  In the private sector 3 months after Fiscal year end is typically considered timely for audit completion by way of comparison.

The second thing is Mary’s report quotes the CPA firm representative as saying the firm’s opinion was unqualified which in turn is a “clean, good opinion”.  My question is which opinion because there are something like 4 or 5 auditor opinion letters contained in a single audit and from the sound of things the City of D’Iberville’s operations are anything but “clean” and “good” as there is double dealing galore there beginning with DMR but not ending there as internal controls over grants and contracts appear nonexistent along with gaping holes in the cash disbursement processes.  That much was clear from Mary’s report and there is nothing good or clean about that.

And then of course there is that pesky FBI investigation into the Utility Authority, SH Anthony Construction Company along with Maxwell Walker Consulting and their curious contract with the City.  And while my experience has been that FBI agents are meticulous in their grooming, there is nothing good and clean about having the FBI about investigating government corruption. Continue reading ““A clean, good opinion”!? Which one???”

Coast friends and family corruption roundup, sponsored by JaWa Investments LLC

This post is sponsored by JaWa Investments LLC ~ Purveyor of coastal crony capitalism since November 24, 2010

Janus takes unpaid leave as D’Iberville city manager ~ Mary Perez

Folks the picture included with Perez’s story of Scott Walker and Michael Janus smiling big after taking their 6% cut off the top tells the entire tale IMHO.

Speaking of the Walkers it appears Mama Walker is out as Ocean Springs School Board Prez.

Series of votes outs Walker and puts in new school board member ~ Karen Nelson

Now at this point I would like to point out the following post I authored last December:

Sunday Slabb: Before we take another step….

I mention this because of the Land Trust Board members that are reaching out in response to the criticisms directed to the organization on these pages.  The power of the medium lies not in the ability to ostracize, though I suspect those on the receiving end of the criticisms would beg to differ.  That said, it is the ability to help guide decision makers as a reflection of public opinion and a wealth of community expertise is where the true power of the Internet medium is derived.

It is along those lines that I asked the following questions of the Land Trust Board: Continue reading “Coast friends and family corruption roundup, sponsored by JaWa Investments LLC”