In the three years since Director Trudy Fisher’s resignation, federal investigators have looked into DEQ’s activities under her leadership. The probe looks at contracts granted by DEQ in an attempt to determine whether Fisher personally benefited from them, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the investigation, including several people who have been interviewed by the FBI.
Under Fisher, private contractor and attorney Amy Whitten reaped nearly $2 million in DEQ contracts, either directly with the agency or through subcontracts with law firm Balch & Bingham. Whitten, a well-known state contractor, had worked with a number of agencies and secured four previous DEQ contracts before Fisher took over the agency.
The link above that Slabbed put out on Twitter was still warm when the Sun Herald picked up Wolfe’s story on Wednesday by then it had really captured the attention of many folks including here. Then we got the wet blanket that lie under the salacious headline:
Amy Whitten, a Mississippi attorney who received a subcontract with the state Department of Environmental Quality in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster, shared her Ridgeland office address with two companies that also gained contracts related to the spill.
One of the companies, Covington Civil and Environmental Engineering, received tens of millions of dollars in contracts related to the April 2010 BP oil spill. The other company, Adaptive Management Services, received a small contract before eventually subcontracting under Covington.
And there has been a lot happen since I descended into the salt mine. I appreciated the continued commentary on the situation in the Bay from the commenting community here. Last night there was a City Council meeting we’ll need to catch up on but first some of what else has happened here on the coast over the past 10 days or so first up in Hancock County.
One Assistant Superintendent for the Bay Waveland School District wasn’t enough therefore:
I have been able to clarify that chatter from last night. Yesterday Scott Walker did indeed go to Ocean Springs City Hall and pick up qualifying papers for municipal office but he has has not filed any papers on his own behalf to qualify. This bears keeping an eye on to see what develops.
Worse is for the taxpayers the Walker family ripped off. Scott Walker still owes big money for restitution and fines claiming he has no coin for such things but then this hits my email inbox a while back:
But first I’d like to welcome you folks in the Bulldog Nation that are salivating at the prospect of the another NCAA hammer coming at Ole Miss football from the Six Pack Speak forum before disappointing you with news that I have confirmed the amount of money the Black Spring Break Revelers told a “Curious Joe” they paid to rent the property which was $750.
I also know the identity of the owner of the vehicle parked in the Walkers driveway who I will not disclose beyond saying the vehicle is registered to what appears from Facebook to be a nice, middle age lady from Moorhead, Mississippi that would be at the right age to have college age child(ren) who would pay $750 for a weekend of fun and frolic at 435 East Beach. The 2016 Ole Miss roster does not list any player from Moorhead, Mississippi.
A couple of other tidbits. I am told reliably by a source familiar with the operations of Ocean Springs City Hall that a prominent local Citizen that is invested in the East Beach neighborhood has threatened legal action against the City if the Walker’s unlicensed VRBO enterprise is not reigned in. The same source tells me the neighborhood has organized so as to better respond should short term renters again appear 435 East Beach.
The answer to that question from my perspective is no. They’re in the business of selling papers and to the extent people have read the Scott and Trinity Walker PR series and are talking about it I’d say they are fulfilling the core mission of a news media organization. Still there is a level of anger that is also undeniable. What follows from the reader mailbag is very representative:
Scott has been a very successful politician and businessman. He essentially made Trent Lott who he is today, and previously ran the Bush 42 White House-like in his sleep. He should have been the Mayor of Ocean Springs, because he deserves it. If it weren’t for the “former Governor” stopping his progress, he would be getting even more press! What up Haley!
Trinity is pretty much a role model for all moms. She can change lightbulbs and do all sorts of helpful household stuff. Her career has sky rocketed since the DMR days. When she is not managing the general surgery and cardiothoracics divisions at the hospital, she is a fashionista blogging on all the latest fashion trends and wedding planning ideas. Nobody has tried to stop her, so she totally rocks!
As for me this whole PR push brings back up memories of the entire Bill Walker – DMR meltdown along with a few newer ones but that deserves its own post. In the meantime since y’all want to comment on the latest installment of As the Walkers Turn feel free to express your thoughts in comments.