Tag Archives: Scott Walker (Ocean Springs)

Analysis: Rumors of sweetheart insider contracts swirling around Singing River Hospital (Updated)

UPDATE:
Since this post was published Slabbed was contacted by Singing River Hospital Spokesman Richard Lucas. This snippet tells the tale:

Our laundry contract, as it has been for many years, is with Crown Health Care Laundry Services out of Pensacola, Florida. We do not have nor have we ever had a contract with Mississippi Laundry Services.

I appreciate the fact that Mr. Lucas contacted Slabbed with that clarification. The other entities are now screaming “follow-up” and I will be doing just that to see if we can gain additional clarity. That will be in part two. ~ Doug

By now anyone with any sort of remote connection to the Jackson County political establishment has heard the rumors of sweetheart deals between the Singing River Health System and certain insiders.  Those rumors have been alluded to several different places and that makes this post a twofer as Slabbed will explore these rumors, why people are talking (beyond the obvious in the implosion of the employee pension fund due to management willfully not funding it) and plus that twofer in how this internet thingy works.

I begin with the DMR = SRHS meme, which first surfaced here in the local feedback loop with the feedback loop confirmed here.  The gang at Singing River Hospital are no doubt feeling a bit embattled and rightfully so.  Pundits, bloggers and muckrakers are a competitive group and there was no way I was gonna let Wayne Weidie have all the fun no sir. Two days ago I sent the following email (partially redacted for dramatic effect) to Hospital Spokesman Richard Lucas:

Mr. Lucas:

I am the publisher of the Slabbed New media website found at www.slabbed.org. I have been following and have covered certain aspects of the financial problems being experienced by the Singing River Hospital System. Along those lines several of my readers have sent me tips regarding alleged insider sweetheart contracts between the Hospital, Hospital <redacted> , and Mr. <redacted> son. Additionally one of the companies is allegedly also owned by Scott Walker, who is now in Federal Prison.

While these contracts may be shielded by the exemption enjoyed by the Hospital in the Mississippi Public Records statute I am contacting you to confirm or deny the existence of these related party transactions. If the answer is none of your business under the Mississippi public records law, that is fine too. I simply want to give you guys a chance to respond in advance of my upcoming publication on this topic and the rumors swirling around SRHS.

<redacted>

Thank you for any information you can provide me regarding these companies and their dealings with SRHS.

As I write this my email to Mr. Lucas has not garnered a reply but the next morning this appeared in the Mississippi Press: Continue reading

In case you’ve been wondering where your Supervisor has been……

He, along with Scott Walker signed up over 10,000 people from across the gulf south for a pair of Houston Texas lawyers to sue BP. Now he, along with Scott Walker and Kirk Ladner are suing the lawyers:

Walker at al v Williamson et al Doc 1

Click to obtain 40 page lawsuit

Scott Walker

I’ve read the suit and the exhibits. What I know about the law is exceeded only by what I don’t but I did wonder how the Precision Marketing Group could enter into any 2012 dated contracts as it was not formed until February 2013 but then again the fictitious business names were a flyin’ back in the go go days.

To the extent the attached exhibits indicate the compensation under these operating agreements were capped as percentages of the amounts the lawyers would ultimately collect, I see some very disturbing implications raised despite the assertions in the complaint to the contrary.

This suit will certainly be worth following. (H/T Anita Lee)

In other news:

Gov. Phil Bryant hires former DEQ director Trudy Fisher as $195-an-hour consultant ~ Jeff Amy

The Restore Act is attracting all the finest people.

The operative word here is incorrigible as in Scott Walker is incorrigible (Updated)

Facebook Photo Scott and family at the July 4th Wesson 2K. Reader submitted photo

Facebook Photo Scott and family at the July 4th Wesson 2K. Reader submitted photo

What Wayne Weidie termed the Scott Walker farewell tour has been in progress since last year so pictures of Scott having a great time up in Oxpatch last Saturday with the wife and kids is not much of a surprise here at Slabbed. In fact Biloxi Blues was kind enough to give us an almost real time report of the Walker family sighting at the game.

Still in all the farewell tour is beginning to wear on those observers that are paying attention, so Weidie’s blog post last Saturday evening complete with a pic of Scott and family enjoying the game, coming on the heels of receiving a health related extension of time to report is getting a fair amount of attention. For all of his health problems Scott is doing good running short races.

The bottom line is Scott will be a free man until December 1st so there should be more pictures popping up before then, like the one Slabbed featured from Thanksgiving 2013.

Provided the current prison reporting date of December 1st holds, Scott will have remained free almost 9 months after his guilty plea and 13 months after the indictments were originally handed down. In the scheme of things these are not extraordinary time periods but Scott is doing his best to make it seem like forever to the public.  Incorrigible is the operative word.

Photo edited at the request of Trinity Walker.

The dog ate it: Stacey Pickering reveals under oath that he has no control over his employees at the State Auditor’s Office

I’m not sure where to start on today’s performance by Stacey Pickering in the contempt hearing being held in Chancery Court Judge Jennifer Schloegel’s courtroom in Gulfport but this snippet from the latest Sun Herald update seems a logical starting point:

Pickering’s chief of investigations, David Huggins, admitted under oath at the contempt hearing Wednesday that Assistant U.S. Attorney John Dowdy subpoenaed records from the Department of Marine Resources to avoid making them public.

Since we don’t have a transcript the above raises some serious questions and it plays into something I heard from the mean streets of Jackson.  The question is whether Huggins actively worked with Assistant U.S. Attorney John Dowdy to deprive the Mississippi public of access to their own records.  This much is clear, if we take that snippet at face value then Dowdy was complicit on some level and this goes back to what I heard. This twitter exchange explains it.

Now who is Joel Smith one might ask? (And asked I was by a reader from Central Mississippi) He is the District Attorney for Harrison, Hancock and Stone Counties and the guy in charge of the indictments of the former DMR employees charged with padding their travel by a few thousand dollars. The Federal Grand Jury subpoena of the DMR records went down in close time proximity to the state and federal indictments so this relationship is salient. Continue reading

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.

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

But first some lovely music:

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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.

Bump: Taxpayers on the hook in D’Iberville after consulting scam collapses

RFP in comments on Today’s auditing moment: Fictitious Vendor Embezzlement

The forecast is for increased heat in the City of D’Iberville.
Ocean Expo’s delay means taxpayers may pay first bond note

D’IBERVILLE — City officials expected Ocean Expo Aquarium to be built and open by now and ticket prices to cover the cost of repaying the bond to purchase the land.

Instead the city may have to make the initial $318,668 payment — due in September — out of the general fund.

A visit to EMMA has been scheduled to do some digging into the official statement.

Additional Ocean Expo:
Can anyone provide information on the contract for site work at the Ocean Expo site?

IMMS solicited bids for “site preparation Phase 1″; the Daily Journal Of Commerce Gulf Coast (see page 17) reported that a local firm by the name of SH Anthony was among the plan holders. Bids were due on August 9, 2012. Was a contract let? Or was this the work that Harrison County did? (See Sun Herald article).

“A clean, good opinion”!? Which one???

I always get a charge from local press coverage of GAGAS / SIngle Audit presentations because what are seemingly simple concepts are actually mind numbingly arcane.  Luckily for the reader, my mind has previously been numbed with this bit of arcanity so along those lines I got a chuckle at Mary Perez’s rendition of the D’Iberville City Council meeting where their FYE September 30, 2012 SIngle Audit report was presented.

First things first folks as the audit submission is late (it was due on June 30, 2013) and that gives a clue as to the state of the finance department at the City.  Good, clean records are easy to audit and those entities with good, clean records typically are not late with audit submissions. In fact, my experience has been that auditees with good, clean records typically have their audits wrapped up 3 to 4 months after the fiscal year end.  In the private sector 3 months after Fiscal year end is typically considered timely for audit completion by way of comparison.

The second thing is Mary’s report quotes the CPA firm representative as saying the firm’s opinion was unqualified which in turn is a “clean, good opinion”.  My question is which opinion because there are something like 4 or 5 auditor opinion letters contained in a single audit and from the sound of things the City of D’Iberville’s operations are anything but “clean” and “good” as there is double dealing galore there beginning with DMR but not ending there as internal controls over grants and contracts appear nonexistent along with gaping holes in the cash disbursement processes.  That much was clear from Mary’s report and there is nothing good or clean about that.

And then of course there is that pesky FBI investigation into the Utility Authority, SH Anthony Construction Company along with Maxwell Walker Consulting and their curious contract with the City.  And while my experience has been that FBI agents are meticulous in their grooming, there is nothing good and clean about having the FBI about investigating government corruption. Continue reading

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