2. Ms. Shumate’s release was not politically motivated. Our state prisons are stuffed full of nonviolent offenders. In 2013 a law was passed that reduced the amount of time nonviolent offenders had to serve to 25% of the total sentence so that we could house more violent offenders. Shumate, based on when she took her plea, fell under the new law. If someone deserves the blame for this state of affairs it would be her lawyer Tim Holleman, who would be on the short list of people I’d go see if I got into serious criminal trouble. The bottom line is Ms. Shumate is being treated no differently than others similarly situated.
“Federal authorities have been looking into Madison County Tax Assessor Gerald Barber and his role in a Louisiana land deal that scored almost $3 million in profits for private citizens and a conservation group.
The lynchpin for the deal may have been an apparent inflated appraisal done by Barber’s firm, Barber & Mann Inc., that the U.S. inspector general called “noncompliant” and unreasonably priced in an audit.
Shumate allegedly approached the Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain about buying the property. The Land Trust and Scott Walker signed a sales contract in April 2011.
Shumate’s attorney, Tim Holleman of Gulfport, who attended the plea hearing, said afterward that Shumate maintains her innocence. He noted that the government alleges Bill Walker “directed” her to approach the Land Trust, not that she conspired with the Walkers. But she is included in the conspiracy charge with the Walkers.
I seem to remember that a conspiracy could involve other acts. Shumate’s purchase of her parent’s property with Coastal Impact funds could be one such possible act the prosecutors would use. The Good Book appears to back this understanding.
It will be interesting to see if Shumate and Ziegler cave or take this into a courtroom. Both have top notch legal representation.
Jason has been covering the Wisner Foundation and the MDL OIl Spill litigation for quite some time now. Seeing the intersections between those topics and a certain class action lawyer whose name has showed up frequently on these pages is most gratifying. Speaking of that clique:
The land deal closed 12 days before Scott Walker’s final, lump-sum payment was due on a loan at Merchants & Marine Bank, Jackson County land records show.
Walker had used the property in July 2008 as collateral on a $310,590 loan, which called for monthly payments of $2,775. The balance and all interest payments were due July 25, 2011, although the terms did allow for loan extension or modification.
Tattoo? I heard that word most from investment bankers doing M&A work a decade or so ago. Tatoos are not easily removed, especially those given a bank by a family member to induce the extension of credit to someone that is not otherwise creditworthy enough on their own to nab a $310,590 loan.