Relatives of DMR employees also work at the agency, although DMR directors say the hirings comply with the agency’s nepotism policy. The nepotism policy prohibits employees from participating in the hiring process for, or supervising, immediate family members, which includes in-laws. It does not prohibit family members from working at DMR.
Walker said his daughter-in-law was hired by DMR Public Relations Director Lauren Thompson and works as a special projects officer. Trinity Walker, wife of Scott Walker, is paid $27,700 a year, according to state records.
Walker said Thompson also hired Samantha Hebert, the sister of Tina Shumate, DMR’s director of coastal management. Hebert works under contract as a videographer, and has been paid $91,300 since October 2010, state records show. Hebert could not be reached at DMR to comment on her job.
When asked how to reach her sister, Shumate said, “She works for Dr. Walker, so you’d have to talk to him.”
Shumate, recently scrutinized in a federal audit for using grant money for DMR’s purchase of her parents’ Pascagoula property, also has a son and brother-in-law who were contract workers. Shumate said she was not involved in hiring her son, who participated in a summer work program while in high school. She said Walker hired her brother-in-law, who was employed only a short time.
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.
Folks, we now have a free for all at DMR as Billy Walker and his co conspirators to the looting of the agency for their personal benefit are finally being thrown under the bus by Interim DMR Director Danny Guice and the embattled Commission on Marine Resources. I mention this because months after Tina Shumate’s double dealing was exposed by the Sun Herald, both her and her political hack sister have finally been let go from DMR. It is not nearly enough.
By all accounts Guice, a career politician, wants the top job at DMR badly thus his conversion into some sort of good government activist. The Commission on Marine Resources OTOH, have been revealed as simpletons along the lines of the D’Iberville City Council, heaping praise on Walker despite the allegations right up to the bitter end. Clueless does not describe them, which is why they all need to go as these misdeeds happened on their watch when they were supposed to be providing oversight. They breached their fiduciary duty to the DMR and that is about the worst thing a board member can do. It is my hope that any money not recovered from Bill Walker and his band of theives is recovered from the Board members who oversaw the looting of the agency by Walker and his cronies.
Well, I took the lap but I’m not the champ, actually we have co-champs in Michael Newsom, Karen Nelson and Anita Lee at the Sun Herald because today they dare to ask the question, “Exactly how much does it take to co-opt a Mississippi State Legislator?”. The answer is not much beyond taking ’em on a few fishin’ trips on those boats Walker owns via his “nonprofit” or charters that the taxpayers paid for and this is both pathetic and sadly predictable.
And yes we have pictures as the boats have/had Facebook pages. It gets better folks as the we also learn the Friends and Family Program at DMR also included an employment agency component for all the little politically connected piggies in West Jackson/East Harrison Counties including Joe Ziegler and his wifey Connie Ziegler, Tina Shumates family, Scott Walker’s wifey Trinity etc etc etc. Heck folks don’t take my word for it: