Tag Archives: Tina Shumate

Miller Time: The spring PR and Trial seasons are upon us

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:

JAMIE M. MILLER: Time for DMR to focus on its mission

Meantime in other news complete with mugshots:

Trials set in state cases against former DMR employees ~ Anita Lee

Let’s mark our Circuit Court calendars:

  • Leslie Gollott: April 21
  • Grant Larsen: May 12
  • Tina Shumate: May 19
  • Susan Perkins: May 19
  • Kerwin Cuevas: August 4

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.

Exactly one thought on the Bill Walker plea

More precisely one thought on the information contained in Anita Lee’s story on same.

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.

Looking for love in all the wrong places: A DMR public records debacle update

I thought Phillip Thomas at Mississippi Litigation Review nailed one of the more recent developments in the State Auditor’s Office public records contempt hearing being heard before Judge Schloegel in Gulfport.  The point is short n’ sweet and dead on accurate:

State Auditor Stacey Pickering is asking the U.S. District Court to bail him out of a mess of his own creation.

And this gets us to today’s comprehensive update by Karen Nelson and Justin Mitchell for the Sun Herald on yesterday’s Chancery Court proceedings before Judge Schloegel that ties in with that:

Schloegel stopped the civil contempt hearing, in its second day Friday, so all parties could participate in a conference call with Hattiesburg U.S. District Judge Keith Starrett, who is assigned the federal case.

Also participating in the call were attorneys for indicted former DMR Director Bill Walker and his son, Scott Walker, and other DMR managers indicted in the federal investigation of the DMR.

During the call, Starrett said he had concerns about how it would fit into the investigation if his office found the records are public. Those concerns included the defendants’ right to a fair trial, if there are any grand jury secrets in the documents, and how disclosure might affect any other “targets” of the grand jury investigation.

Early on, when the first indications surfaced that former Assistant US Attorney Sal Perricone engaged in certain extracurricular no-no’s with respect to the massive corruption investigation then underway in Metro New Orleans, certain sage observers predicted the criminal defense attorneys would use it to the benefit of their clients and it worked out exactly that way.  I mention this because although we have a far different fact set in play here, if you take what the Sun Herald put out on the social media real time during the two days of hearings at face value, my spidey senses tell me the spectacle is helping rather than hurting the five former DMR employees charged with state crimes that resulted from the year long investigation conducted by the State Auditor’s office.  The concerns Judge Starrett expressed were not from any first hand knowledge of the contents of the records at question but from experience IMHO.

Here is the text of the minute entry from PACER on the call:

Minute Entry for proceedings held before District Judge Keith Starrett:Telephone Conference as to William W. Walker, Scott J. Walker, Joseph C. Zeigler, Jr, Sheila Tina Shumate held on 12/6/2013 regarding Expedited Petition to Authorize Release of Records and for Direction [62]. The Court informed counsel of guidelines for their responses to the Petition. All responses are due by December 18, 2013. Participants: Jerry Rushing, John Dowdy, Harold Britain, William Kirksey, Arthur Madden, Corban Gunn, Joe Sam Owen, Tim C. Holleman, John Corlew, Henry Laird, Harold Pizzetta, Douglas Miracle, Melissa Patterson, David Huggins, Joseph Runnels, Sandra Chesnut; Court Reporter/Transcriber Fred Jeske

Next up we need to jump back a few weeks and solve a minor mystery of the Federal case against the Walkers, Joe Ziegler and Tina Shumate. Warren Kulo’s story from last month on the gang’s first court appearance for the Mississippi Press sets it up: Continue reading

A couple of thoughts about yesterday’s DMR Indictments….

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.

Meantime over at Trinity Walker’s blog Worn One Time there has been no much activity since Team Walker toured Alaska back over the Summer.

Who likes a good perp walk? Luckily for everyone the Sun Herald put a video up on YouTube of yesterday’s parade of former DMR employees facing state charges:

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Meantime Justin Mitchell checks in this morning with an update from downtown Gulfport for the Sun Herald: Continue reading

BREAKING: Warrants for the arrest of 5 former DMR Employees have been issued

Former DMR officials begin turning themselves in at Harrison County jail in connection to investigation ~ Mississippi Press

And the former employees have been identified as:

  • Leslie Gollott
  • Grant Larsen
  • Tina Shumate
  • Susan Perkins
  • Kerwin Cuevas

Vital Background on Shumate and Larsen can be found here,  Susan Perkins is somewhat of a shocker but the reasons Miller let her go now come into sharper focus.

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.

DMR Scandal Day 122: Sun Herald reports Tina Shumate the catalyst for DMR purchase of former DMR Executive Director’s son’s lot

Anita Lee is a champ as she and Karen Nelson tag team the next installment of as The Land Trust Turns.  In what turns out to be a weird cosmic twist of fate, I too spoke with Melanie Allen with the Land Trust in her capacity as an individual board member not speaking for the Entire Board of Directors or organization. The information she conveyed to me greatly enhanced my understanding of the events surrounding the purchase of Scott Walker’s lot by the Land Trust, acting in the role of financial intermediary for DMR at the behest of CIAP Administrator Tina Shumate, also on the Land Trust Board of Directors.  There was one question that Ms Allen could not answer for me but before I get to that I want to emphasize the Land Trust Board is taking this very seriously and have engaged the issues the transaction has brought to the fore.

That said it is also true the same board still contain a cancerous element because the people at the top of the Land Trust have/had financial relationships with DMR. Let’s start with the comment I just left on Anita’s story:

Absolutely these financial relationships were ignored in their decision making. The majority of the board allowed themselves to be led down the primrose path by people with a financial stake at DMR. And there is no doubt they had to know the connection between the seller and DMR.

The question they should have asked themselves is, if the money were not being provided to do this deal, would we buy this parcel over the lot next door that was still relatively pristine? The money being provided to make the deal work was a red flag.

And that perception dates back to the fact set I highlighted back on day 99:

A reader that knows the lay of the land at the Land Trust sent me a few of the connections to Walker on the Land Trust’s Board of Directors as the reasons for the organization conspiring with Walker to allegedly perpetrate a crime comes into sharper focus:

Laura Bowie – Board President; works in an office in the DMR Bolton building at the pleasure of Bill Walker. She is paid by a different group.

In that same office is one of Bill’s long time best friends Phil Bass. Bass retired from the state and went to work for the EPA Gulf of Mexico Program. He is on loan from them.

John Bowie – Advisory Committee member, Laura’s husband. Works for the EPA.

Grant Larson – worked for Tina Shumate at the DMR

William Corky Perrett – worked for Bill at the DMR

On Corky Perret, Anita explains the relationship: Continue reading

Why Harold Holmes had to go from the Land Trust Board……(Updated)

A Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain board member has resigned, saying he wants to spend more time with his family in Texas and eventually plans to move there.

Harold L. Holmes of Carriere said his resignation, announced in a Feb. 4 letter, was not related to a controversy over the nonprofit agency’s purchase of property from a state agency head’s son.

But alas I have an email where far different words were used by Mr Holmes. Lightweight and thin skinned would be two terms that appropriately describe this situation.  Where do you think Anita got your cell phone number from Harold?  It is no wonder these people on the Land Trust Board voted to help Billy Walker engage in what strongly appears to be criminal activity because clueless does not begin to describe them.

There are some people that tell me Doug, a blogger has no basis to  deal with a McClatchy paper to warn me off linking the paper or working with select reporters.  Oh Contrary. :mrgreen:

Update:

The McClatchy remark above was not directed at the Sun Herald and I did not expect a link as I would have put something like “I’d like to remind my media friends of the creative commons license on the right sidebar” because certain NOLA TeeVee stations rip off Slabbed without thinking twice. That said the gang at the Sun Herald was kind enough to link my coverage of this and I do appreciate that.

DMR Scandal day 99: Danny, I know I’m not that easy…..

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.

And this brings us to the public trust part because now the Commission on Marine Resources is in spin mode pretending to care what the public thinks.  I agree with Gov. Phil that the Commission on Marine Resources should be sunsetted and thus eliminated and such a step would enhance my trust that the Governor is actually interested in cleaning up the mess his coastal crony supporters made at DMR.

This brings me to another board that sorely needs a house cleaning, The Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain. Continue reading