Inside the investigation: Who tattooed Scott Walker’s mortgage on the lot that DMR purchased via the Land Trust

Vital background via Anita Lee can be found here.

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.

Stay tuned.

State Auditor Pickering’s fuzzy math under the microscope: Exactly where are all the bucks stopping?

That’s a softball question in the post title because all of the bucks are stopping over at Joe Cloyd’s house for a celebration funded in part by the no bid, $50,000 contract Cloyd scored to supposedly communicate the results of Jamie Miller’s outside CPA firm review of the “culture of corruption” that is the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources.

I don’t know about you good folks reading this, but Slabbed New Media did not discern any communication from Team Cloyd on the topic of the review done by Horne CPA group, a connection Michael Newsom brings up today in his column in the Sun Herald. In fact, a seasoned, albeit slightly jaded pundit would observe stuffing money into a political strawman’s pocket via a no bid $50,000 DMR contract is eerily reminiscent of what Slabbed New Media covered back during the depth of the oil spill with our own Magnum hosting a multitude of political fundraisers in close proximity to receiving a multimillion dollar contract with BP to help with governmental relations. True dat, Cloyd is jonesing by comparison with a paltry $50K but Mississippi ain’t BP.

But this is not what has us common folk upset at Auditor Pickering, no siree.  I was glad to see the Sun Herald Editorial Board was bright enough to pick up the problem today despite Auditor Pickering’s sophistry on the subject and it is at this point that I’ll direct everyone back to a post I did in December 2012, Mississippians are being robbed blind by Phil Bryant’s political cronies. Exactly where are all the bucks stopping:

If this had been a school secretary embezzling a few thousand dollars from the Student Activity Fund or a secretary at (insert name of state agency) doing same that person would be, at the minimum put on a leave of absence while the investigation sorted all the dirty deeds out.  If you are a political appointee of Bryant on the other hand you get to keep your job and search for a graceful exit.

This turned out to be somewhat prophetic because I have also observed the State Auditor’s Office was expert at crushing school secretaries that steal a few thousand dollars and there it is for all to see in Auditor Pickering’s 2013 exception report, which includes as a State Auditor’s Office recovery the restitution from Roger Ladner of Hancock County, a case the FBI and US Attorney’s Office investigated and prosecuted. Like the typical political that he is, Pickering will take credit for everything he thinks will make him look good, even the stuff he had nothing to do with. Let’s take a peeksie at the report: Continue reading “State Auditor Pickering’s fuzzy math under the microscope: Exactly where are all the bucks stopping?”

By popular demand: Of home furnishings and ‘culture of corruption’……

But first some lovely music:

Pickering: DMR probe may reveal “culture of corruption” ~ Da Noose

Auditor Pickering had to get out in front of the rampant rumor mill and boy did he! So what do we know now?  Here are a few observations.

Today’s multiple choice question? Who paid for certain of the furniture in Scott Walker’s beachfront house in Ocean Springs

  • A. The Mississippi Marine Resources Foundation
  • B. The MIssissippi Department of Marine Resources
  • C. The Estate of Michael Jackson
  • D. Trick Question, Only schmucks pay for their own furniture

As those of you reading certain of Slabbed’s recent DMR posts know, it seems as though all the dirty laundry is coming out. In fact it truly is all coming out.

With an eye towards the future I’ll disclose that for some reason I missed the fact that Mrs. Walker hails from the land of Dizzy Dean and it is entirely possible, in fact highly probable, that my peeps know her peeps.  I mention this because of my prior experience interviewing spouses of convicted felons can not be gainsaid.  I can supply references and I think they will all say that Handshoe was very fair.

For now let’s just put a circle around all this for later use.

OK, here is the latest DMR Indictment rumor

I’ll repeat this one despite the fact I do not completely buy in but here goes.  There are sealed state indictments in three counties, including two counties here on the coast.  There are currently sealed or will be additional federal indictments.  The total number out there as of this general time period is 12-18, which is the part I have the hardest time believing.

The number of 12-18 would indicate a very wide range to the investigation – not outside the realm of possibility but unusual based on my prior experience.

Take this post for what is it cost you to read it but the level of chatter is intense and I considered the source before publishing.

Regarding this Steve Simpson chatter – it involves the new Troop K Highway Patrol building on Highway 67.

We have a final IG report on the DMR Coastal Impact Program

But before we get to that I think we can now conclude that Jamie Miller released the preliminary report months after the fact in order to soften the blow in the final report, which he certainly knew was close to completion when he leaked the first report out to the Sun Herald.

I have skimmed the report and besides all the bad things we already knew about double dealing Billy Walker and his family along with Tina Shumate and her family, left unmentioned anywhere in the media to this point is the fact both the preliminary and final reports are damning to the Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain, an organization both the Sun Herald and Slabbed identified early on since they served as financial intermediary in the DMR purchase of Scott Walker’s land,

Individuals connected to the Land Trust not speaking in an official capacity indicated to Slabbed the Walker purchase technically met the guidelines as property worthy of preservation.  I noted the Inspector General does not seem to buy into that notion. Even worse, the OIG identifies a conflict of interest no one seemed to notice.  Here is the specific verbiage from the final OIG report:

Final OIG Report on CIAP Capture 1

That pesky Billy Walker mud hole claims another victim in Judy Steckler, who joins the Walker and Shumate families in the local conflict of Interest club. Continue reading “We have a final IG report on the DMR Coastal Impact Program”

He so lucky……

Yep he sho’ is:

Why is he lucky?  Because there no time for me to dissect the report on DMR’s operations today. I’ve read the reader comments left here on same and am amused professionally. CPAs always write “to the inside” and the Horne CPA Group report is no different. Did anyone find the problems Slabbed uncovered in the artificial reef program mentioned? It is not in there by name but it is in there folks.

I caution the readers about substituting their judgments on risk assessment for Horne’s though I will not illustrate why right now in the interest of time. I did make sure the part I thought was most important made it out on Twitter yesterday and I see Paul Hampton got the takeaway and included it at the end of his comprehensive piece on yesterday’s developments.

This review is a damning portrait of the Bill Walker tenure at DMR so how about another lovely song. Continue reading “He so lucky……”

Saturday Omnibus: We’re beginning to mark some important anniversaries in the DMR Scandal

By this time last year the unraveling of the Mississippi DMR had begun as we rapidly approach the one year anniversary of several important events. I’m not gonna rehash them today but I need to hook up with one contributor in order to finalize a comprehensive post on the topic that will appear soon.

Moving right along I received a reader email worried Slabbed has been subpoenaed because of our DMR coverage. At the risk of sounding like a broken record from last January the answer is no and I do not expect to receive any. That said I have heard from multiple sources the Auditor’s office investigators made sure certain peeps knew they took a very dim view on anyone involved in the scandal speaking with Slabbed. That I submit, is a major compliment on the voodoo we do here on the Slabb.

In the bad news department the long promised and not delivered “Part 2” of my exploration of Aaron Broussard’s relationship with the media and First Bank and Trust ain’t happening. Instead what I intend to do is break the pdf files down into smaller size files and post the entire Broussard files project for everyone to see in all its glory. I’d look for that beginning tomorrow.

Finally, it is time we tackled some old topics anew in the National Flood Insurance Program, Wind Claims Dumping and certain insurance commishes that clearly need a seeing eye dog. In short State Farm is headed back to the Slabb for further examination.

It’s Miller time at DMR!

I’ll be honest and say I was not disappointed but there is little Gov Phil can do to disappoint me more than he already has during his term as Gov. So along those lines I did not feel any particular rush to roll anything out on new DMR Executive Director Jamie Miller, who was confirmed to that position earlier today by the Mississippi Senate.

If there is a silver lining here it is that the gang is listening and Miller promises to have the DMR Audited every year along with the standard Mississippi state government throwaway lines of being transparent and accountable.  We’ll see.

Meantime Miller is a tweep of Slabbed New Media and likely reads us closely, so if there is anything you guys want to say I feel sure he is listening. For my part Miller’s close connections to Team Palazzo makes me dubious, especially since our fluffer Congressman’s daddy benefited from the friends and family program and the Palazzo family seems the type to loot whatever is not nailed down from the treasury. Along those lines if Miller wants to walk the walk of transparency he should immediately release the names of the politically connected land owners that were bought out with CIAP funds along with the amounts paid for the land.