I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing! ~ Galatians 2:21
Give ‘em a show that’s so splendiferous, row after row will grow vociferous.. ~ Fictional lawyer Bill Flynn
Both of those quotes come to mind to explain what I saw on Monday in Hattiesburg at Bill Walker’s sentencing. Let’s start with the part that is guaranteed to raise the collective blood pressure of the residents of South Mississippi. Michael Janus and Scott Walker did a fair amount of mutual backslapping during the break between Janus’ sentencing and Bill Walker’s hearing. It did not violate proper courtroom personal decorum in my opinion but given the circumstances I thought it was a bit odd.
Bill Walker OTOH barely spoke a word instead relying on his lawyer Bill Kirksey, who Judge Starett concluded “well represented” Walker before he sentenced him to 60 months in prison and this gets us to the “splendiferous” part. You gotta figure Walker paid a fortune for Kirksey’s professional services, the most practical application of which meant that most everyone assembled in the courtroom got a small share of misery. To set up that which I am speaking we need to start with some lovely music: Continue reading “A few thoughts on the Bill Walker sentencing”
“There has been no outpouring of outrage, with the exception of the press on the Mississippi Gulf Coast,” the motion said. “People that have known Walker have sent letters of support that have been forwarded to the court for consideration.”
It appears Bill Walker’s motion for a downward departure left out a thing or two, beginning with the outrage part. Here at Slabbed and speaking strictly for myself, what happens from here on out with these guilty pleas will not bother me one way or the other. That said, Friday night the bat phone started ringing off the hook here at Slabbed New Media, including current and former DMR employees. Its complicated folks but rest assured there is plenty of outrage accompanied by a palpable sense of betrayal of the public trust along with that of the stakeholders at DMR that Bill Walker’s personal enrichment schemes would also greatly impact.
But there is more unfortunately and this is where most of the bad karma that surrounds the Walkers is derived in my opinion because there is also a human toll. Michaela Hill immediately comes to mind here and her family blames you for what happened Bill. Phil Bass also comes to mind. I can’t speak for the Bass family but I can for a couple of folks that knew him well. They’re all looking to you Bill for some answers.
Five years in jail will not bring either back. Later today in Hattiesburg we’ll see if justice is done. I will be there to witness what happens. Stay tuned.
I woke up this morning to a plethora of commentary on all the people connected to DMR that have died since the scandal broke late last Summer and was somewhat stunned by it. It appears all the interested parties are gathered here in the Slabbed internet community. It is an awesome responsibility due to the delicacy of the subject matter and having crossed this bridge once here on Slabbed last year it is one I do not take lightly.
Slabbed has heard from several sources that Phil Bass took his own life. His name has previously appeared on these pages in connection with his close connection to former DMR Executive Director Bill Walker. Walker is currently at the epicenter of a federal grand jury investigation into wrongdoing at Mississippi Department of Marine Resources. There is much speculation out there in the community that Bass’ untimely death is related. The rampant speculation about both Bass and Jessica Upshaw exists because transparency is still a foreign concept at the DMR.
From reading the commentary on Slabbed, it appears some of the relatives of the deceased still have unanswered questions. Perhaps in time with a bit of luck, those questions will be answered.
Those interested in Mr Bass’ funeral arrangements should click here. His obituary via the Clarion Ledger appears here.