For the Walker and Shumate clans, the time spent in prison for their role in the DMR scandal is over. It took a few years but the family of the late Michaela Hill finally gets some much needed closure. Point Park explained it best in a comment that I now bump up here:
Doug good things come to those that defend justice and the truth. Sources say you will receive a late Christmas present in the New Year. Let’s hope the Hill and Sabatini families finally have some good news. Meanwhile slimy Bill Walker appears on WLOX as if nothing happened and all the while claiming he did nothing wrong. Grandchildren playing all over in the news clip. Cheap sadistic photo opp. I wonder if this creepy [email protected]&$ ever wonders what the grandchildren of Michaela feel like without their grandmother. I’m sure Bill will be true to his word and participate in public events. Local sources have already spotted him at baseball games malls and even a charity event. It leaves one to wonder when Bill will appear in church. Slime ball has much to be forgiven for. Perhaps he will sit next to a member of the Hill or Sabatini family and ask forgiveness for what he and Tina Schumate did to Michalea.
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.
And of course it was Jeff’s story that Anita Lee and I chatted about before we entered the courtroom for the DMR plea hearing before Circuit Court Judge Roger Clark yesterday in Biloxi. I was disappointed in not being able to use Twitter, especially since still photography was allowed inside the court room per the court’s own rules. Those rules were written before the rise of social media and it shows. Nonetheless, when the court’s bailiff comes out two times before the start of the hearing to let everyone else know they better turn off all their electronic devices it behooved those assembled to heed the good word.
Let’s start with Anita’s story for the Sun Herald:
She does a good job recounting the events of the hearing, where Tina Shumate was clearly the boogie man de jour. After Larsen’s attorney made some statements regarding how Shumate allegedly treated Larsen when he tried repaying the travel over payment, Shumate’s lawyer Tim Holliman’s reaction upon hearing Team Larsen’s statement tells me her story will beg to differ. We’ll see.
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:
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.
Shumate allegedly approached the Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain about buying the property. The Land Trust and Scott Walker signed a sales contract in April 2011.
Shumate’s attorney, Tim Holleman of Gulfport, who attended the plea hearing, said afterward that Shumate maintains her innocence. He noted that the government alleges Bill Walker “directed” her to approach the Land Trust, not that she conspired with the Walkers. But she is included in the conspiracy charge with the Walkers.
I seem to remember that a conspiracy could involve other acts. Shumate’s purchase of her parent’s property with Coastal Impact funds could be one such possible act the prosecutors would use. The Good Book appears to back this understanding.
It will be interesting to see if Shumate and Ziegler cave or take this into a courtroom. Both have top notch legal representation.