Last DMR Defendant cops a plea: A friends and family scandal update

And Anita Lee was there when Kerwin Cuevas copped a plea:

DMR heads ‘ran it like they owned it’ former employee told judge ~ Anita Lee

Cuevas also said, “The department was being run like it had no oversight and the people in charge ran it like they owned it.”

That one statement sums up the DMR scandal better than anything written before or since. Why Governor Bryant and his legislature refuses to require every state agency to be audited annually defies the imagination…that is until one logically concludes that what we saw at DMR more than likely repeats across every state agency.

As for Cuevas, the man who knew where all the bodies were buried ended up with the best deal.

Miller Time: The spring PR and Trial seasons are upon us

I had no clue the entirety of the state’s Gross Domestic Product made it into the state’s coffers but after reading Jamie Miller’s latest in the Sun Herald that no clue feeling washed over me several times in a tide of cheap talking points, skillfully packaged as they were:

JAMIE M. MILLER: Time for DMR to focus on its mission

Meantime in other news complete with mugshots:

Trials set in state cases against former DMR employees ~ Anita Lee

Let’s mark our Circuit Court calendars:

  • Leslie Gollott: April 21
  • Grant Larsen: May 12
  • Tina Shumate: May 19
  • Susan Perkins: May 19
  • Kerwin Cuevas: August 4

Here at Slabbed we’re not marking calendars to join any sort of lynch mob no siree. Slabbed is known for making bold predictions and I have one for the outcome of these State Auditor lead investigations, which with one exception focused on mid level employees and stopped way short on the dealings between the Marine Resources Foundation and other Jackson County based nonprofits.

Lets set the morning line, specifically the acquittal over/under of these 5 upcoming cases at 2.5.  I like the over there as I foresee three acquittals though five would not surprise me.

A couple of thoughts about yesterday’s DMR Indictments….

I hope everyone noticed the Scott Walker/Michael Janus indictment was captioned First Superseding Indictment, which means Walker and Janus have known for some time they were charged with federal crimes.  I am told plea talks broke down thus yesterday’s torrent of federal and state charges including the first revision to the alleged crimes involving the City of D’Iberville perpetrated by Walker and Janus.  I thought the Mississippi Press using Scott Walker’s Ocean Springs DUI booking photo for their story on the federal indictments of he and his daddy Bill Walker was precious.

Meantime over at Trinity Walker’s blog Worn One Time there has been no much activity since Team Walker toured Alaska back over the Summer.

Who likes a good perp walk? Luckily for everyone the Sun Herald put a video up on YouTube of yesterday’s parade of former DMR employees facing state charges:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCvi6Ctz1K8

Meantime Justin Mitchell checks in this morning with an update from downtown Gulfport for the Sun Herald: Continue reading “A couple of thoughts about yesterday’s DMR Indictments….”

BREAKING: Warrants for the arrest of 5 former DMR Employees have been issued

Former DMR officials begin turning themselves in at Harrison County jail in connection to investigation ~ Mississippi Press

And the former employees have been identified as:

  • Leslie Gollott
  • Grant Larsen
  • Tina Shumate
  • Susan Perkins
  • Kerwin Cuevas

Vital Background on Shumate and Larsen can be found here,  Susan Perkins is somewhat of a shocker but the reasons Miller let her go now come into sharper focus.

Because it is a brother in law deal Day 7: Quality or quantity

I have a quote from a contractor that “never heard back” from MGFB.  The question folks is one of quality or quantity:

The artificial reef community is growing and innovating as the needs for artificial or “Dynamic Reefs” continues to change, and new environments are identified and addressed. Open bids for all Dynamic Reef projects should be encouraged and maintained. Open bids drive innovation and creates a Dynamic Reef suite that also helps the environment. Artificial reefs are more than reef balls, ship drops, and multifaceted shapes for fish propagation. They now include tourism centric design, new ceramic reef modules and a more blended approach to Dynamic Reef design and placement. Put this way, the oceans and ocean environment are constantly changing. Like a master painting you wouldn’t just use one color, the artificial reef bid space needs to be aware of new technologies and paradigms and only open bidding with public input can get us to a more blended and technology savvy Dynamic Reef space for the future.

Here on the coast MGFB’s sites are set a bit lower: Continue reading “Because it is a brother in law deal Day 7: Quality or quantity”

Because it is a brother in law deal. DMR employee lets contracts to his own family

I’ve been chasing this lead for a week but it was the following email that best tells the story:

The sub-grant agreements from DMR to the Mississippi Gulf Fishing Banks, Inc., specifically require compliance with the State Personal Board Contracts regulations requiring bidding and comparable pricing – much like the contracts with Elizabeth Rooks-Barber required.

A couple of sub-grantee agreements were posted documents at Sunherald. Page 417 of the 2008 Artificial Reef Project EDRP, Katrina Money of the publically posted documents is the applicable sub-grant agreement with MGFB, Inc. Section 8.27 of that agreement requires compliance with State Personnel Contract Review Board rules.

Mike Irwin Holmes, the owner/operator of Mike Holmes Construction, is Kerwin Cuevas’ brother-in-law (Kerwin’s wife’s brother).

And my new pen pal was kind enough to provide a link establishing the Brother in law relationship.  I invariably do a supplemental Google search of my own on tips and lo and behold Holmes turns up connected to KEBAWK Response Technologies which certainly worked the oil spill. He is listed as a partner to KEBAWK so what we have here is a brother in law deal with a side partnership (once removed).

Worth noting is the MGFB contracts with Mike Holmes Construction LLC since December 2011 are technically a nullity since Mike Holmes Construction LLC was administratively dissolved by the Mississippi Secretary of State’s office back in December, 2011.

Since this is a brother in law deal we gotta drill down a bit on another Special Purpose Entity acting the part of middleman to what appears to be specious activity:

Even more curious is why DMR used MGFB for the reef building work.  DMR has the permits to build the reefs.  The posted records show that all MGFB did was act as a conduit to forward Mike Holmes and Matthews Marine’s invoices to DMR for payment.

Here is one page of many in the Sun Herald document dump that deals with Kerwin Cuevas and Mike Holmes. Click the pic to nab the PDF via the Sun Herald: Continue reading “Because it is a brother in law deal. DMR employee lets contracts to his own family”