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Salty Dawg

Hattiesburg, MS

#1 Oct 26, 2012
Is the DMAR audit related to the Harbor landing deal?

DMR under investigation by state auditorPublished: October 25, 2012

BILOXI -- Officials from the State Auditor's Office were at the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources offices Thursday, sifting through files in the executive director's office."The State Auditor's Office was here and they are conducting an investigation," said Lauren Thompson, DMR director of communications.The nature of the investigation is not clear.Executive Director Bill Walker waited in the lobby of the executive offices on the sixth floor of the Bolton Building on Thursday afternoon as at least three men reviewed files at a table in Walker's office.Com puter hard drives were on the floor near the door. It is not clear if any files were removed from the building."The State Auditor's Office is not making any comments or statements at this time," spokeswoman Laney Graham said in an email to the Sun Herald on Thursday afternoon.She later issued this statement after the Sun Herald reported the investigation: "The office of the State Auditor realizes that many rumors may be circulating today concerning the Department of Marine Resources. However, David R. Huggins, Director of Investigations, does not wish to comment on the status of an investigation. However, he will state that contrary to rumor, no arrests have been made."The state Legislature created the DMR as a new state agency in 1994. It manages coastal resources, through the authority of the Commission on Marine Resources.The DMR manages all marine life, public trust wetlands, adjacent uplands and waterfront areas for the long-term recreational, educational, commercial and economic benefit of the public, according to its website.
hmmmmm

Ocean Springs, MS

#2 Oct 27, 2012
hopefully
O S DOG

Ocean Springs, MS

#3 Nov 11, 2012
Well I guess the end is near for some folks at DMR.Indictments soon to follow for sure.Buying the boat storage was a head scratcher but the "Old Ft. Bayou"property for $1,290,000.,a property unsellable to anyone else at any price with its 5' elavation is a deal to bailout a dumb developer from Louisiana with the right connections at DMR and now we find out that Scott Walker has sold his vacant lot in Gulf Hills for over $200,000 to the Land Trust with DMR funding the purchase.Does this all mean that anyone with property you cannot sell can go to DMR and they will buy it? Of course not unless you hire the Maxwell Walker firm to represent you.What is really going on here? Should we care that people with undevelopable land like the Reynolds property on Front Beach can thru a certain connection can liquidate their poor business decisions to the taxpayers for over $800,000.per acre? Someone needs to dig deep and expose all of these transactions for what they are. Hard working taxpayers do not deserve to be made fools of time after time.Time to lawyer up if you are a seller of any of these properties or anyone else involved in these fraudulent transactions
Bout Time

Ocean Springs, MS

#4 Nov 11, 2012
Is anyone going to look at the relationship between the DMR and the Maxwell Group? Are there other businesses that were hiring Scott Walker as a "consultant" to get contracts from the DMR? This investigation is long overdue and should look at these "arm length" transactions. Are there people in the community that have knowledge of deals that took place and are hesitant to speak? The Sun Herald seems to be on top of this investigation. If you have knowledge of any business dealings involving companies that hired Scott Walker and received contracts from the DMR, we want to hear from you.
gulf

Moss Point, MS

#5 Nov 11, 2012
O S DOG wrote:
Well I guess the end is near for some folks at DMR.Indictments soon to follow for sure.Buying the boat storage was a head scratcher but the "Old Ft. Bayou"property for $1,290,000.,a property unsellable to anyone else at any price with its 5' elavation is a deal to bailout a dumb developer from Louisiana with the right connections at DMR and now we find out that Scott Walker has sold his vacant lot in Gulf Hills for over $200,000 to the Land Trust with DMR funding the purchase.Does this all mean that anyone with property you cannot sell can go to DMR and they will buy it? Of course not unless you hire the Maxwell Walker firm to represent you.What is really going on here? Should we care that people with undevelopable land like the Reynolds property on Front Beach can thru a certain connection can liquidate their poor business decisions to the taxpayers for over $800,000.per acre? Someone needs to dig deep and expose all of these transactions for what they are. Hard working taxpayers do not deserve to be made fools of time after time.Time to lawyer up if you are a seller of any of these properties or anyone else involved in these fraudulent transactions
As a long time local I've never met Mr. Walker or any(as far as I know) of his family. But he & Palazzo seem to be connected to the good old boy network running this region. Like Palazzo's family buying that piece of property near the end of East Beach & then flipping it to a govt agency lol, for a million dollars.

And now this. Don't get me wrong, I know beachfront property is worth more than property elsewhere but give me a damn break. Over a million bucks for a lousy acre or 2 near the beach? Who cares if it has beach front access. Anybody willing to spend 800k an acre IN MISSISSIPPI is out of their damn mind unless they're planning on building a massive casino on the property or some kind of big business.

But if all they're gonna do is put a stupid fish camp there -- yeah, that aint worth no million bucks. Give me a break. I also don't know Mr. Walker outside of his run for mayor(which I doubt he was qualified to be) or his DUI nonsense or his plane crash. But it sounds like he's using his connection to offload his crap real estate onto us @ a huge profit. I don't really care if its in Gulf Hills & waterfront or not. Anybody who would be willing to pay 200k for a lot of otherwise unsellable property is what PT Barnum referred to as "a sucker."

Most of the real estate in this region is so massively overvalued it isn't even funny. Most ppl who "own" property in this country if they're lucky make maybe 20-30k dollars a year. How they keep these sky-high valuations on these overpriced parcels of real estate is beyond me. I wouldn't want to live in Gulf Hills or on the water if you paid me. Both because of home maintenance costs & insurance headaches with the storms. To hell with that.

I can tell you this guy is an idiot. Anybody with that kind of money would be moving out of this hellhole to a place like Dallas or Atlanta or Houston or hell, south Florida like Jimmy Buffett. They wouldn't be pissing away their hard earned bucks in this sweathole of a depressed region.

But hey, wouldn't shock me @ all. These crooked good old boy land deals & gravy 'consultant' jobs have been the norm for decades. I hope they break up this nepotism. This state is broke. The coast provides what? 40% of the state budget I read. We're already cutting govt spending to the bone. We don't need even more wastes of taxpayer funds.
gulf

Moss Point, MS

#6 Nov 11, 2012
Also I can't get over that. Waterfront real estate is worth more than regular real estate but again, give me a break. 800k an acre?

You can buy a condo in Manhattan or a condo in Miami Beach for that.

And they wanna pay that kinda money....for a fish camp/bait shop? RRRIIIGGGHHHTTT.

In....MISSISSIPPI? THE POOREST STATE IN THE UNION?? BWAHAHAHAHA. You got some big damn suckers in this region if they're willing to crank out that money for such overpriced real estate.
OS Observer

Madison, MS

#7 Nov 12, 2012
Hmmmm... I knew it wouldn't be long before they figured out that the Walkers were up to no good on the tax payers dime.
Coastie

Vancleave, MS

#8 Nov 12, 2012
Dunno why everyones so surprised, business as usual in Suth Ms. Remember the Palazzo land deal?
O S DOG

Ocean Springs, MS

#9 Nov 12, 2012
The prices paid are cannot be justified.The old rule that property is only worth what market wiil pay still applies in the normal realestate market.I have visited each location made public and can tell you only one can serve a public need. The remaining properties bought would still be for sale today in my opinion because the demand does not exist due to elavation, location or profitability(rest. and boat storage).The hard working taxpayers of this state should be outraged.The overpayment is just part of the insult to our intelligence.The fact that the market did not exist for most of the parcels purchased at any price is the real slap in the face.It will be dealt with in time but we as citizens need to demand that heads roll or they will not.
OS Dog

Ocean Springs, MS

#10 Nov 12, 2012
The focus seems to be on the land purchases. I believe there is a lot more to this investigation. Has anyone bothered to look at who is employed by the DMR? Ocean Springs Alderman, Greg Denyer, his daughter Libby Denyer, Collin Byrd, Paul Byrd, who live next door to the Walkers. Do we know what companies that Scott represented that have gotten contracts from the DMR? What other businesses thet Scott is or has been involved with are using this connection to Jackson and beyond. The rules are way different when you are dealng with public money and public influence than they are in the private sector. Do you wonder if anybody even cares?
msgulfcoastnativ e

Ocean Springs, MS

#11 Nov 13, 2012
A full scale investigation is warranted. I hope the feds take all involved down. Too many years that this sh#t has been going on. And don't forget the USM Cedar Point land deal, or the land donated to the YMCA that was sold on Dell Lane. Time for the good ole boys to come down!
O S DOG

Ocean Springs, MS

#12 Nov 13, 2012
Looks like Danny Guice is being moved into a position as Deputy Director at Ms.DMR.Time is near for the forced retirement of Billy Walker which I predict will be by Christmas. Also word is from a
reliable sources that the reason Mayor Robbie Maxwell will not seek another term in Pascagoula is because of his involvement with the Walkers thru Maxwell Walker Consultants.Source says he is working on a deal with investigators.If this is true which I believe it is things are going to get ugly quick.
OS good ole boy

Ocean Springs, MS

#13 Nov 14, 2012
O S DOG wrote:
Looks like Danny Guice is being moved into a position as Deputy Director at Ms.DMR.Time is near for the forced retirement of Billy Walker which I predict will be by Christmas. Also word is from a
reliable sources that the reason Mayor Robbie Maxwell will not seek another term in Pascagoula is because of his involvement with the Walkers thru Maxwell Walker Consultants.Source says he is working on a deal with investigators.If this is true which I believe it is things are going to get ugly quick.
I am still waiting on new information about the deal between Scott Walker doing work for the City of D'iberville and depositing the check into an account with Scotty and a city paid employee. If anyone knows more, please post. Could it be that this is yet another DMR project helping get the new D'Iberville casino pushed through. Yes, we are dealing with tidelands and wetlands
Must be nervous

Ocean Springs, MS

#14 Nov 14, 2012
I would say he could not be that dumb until the info about his lot sale became public.He also was involved in the fence installed in the water along front beach all the way to Ft.Bayou.I am told by a very good source that the Maxwell Walker firm received $400,000. for getting this concept approved for funding thru DMR. This project also included as contractors the son-in-law of a very prominent attorney and the ex-Mayor of Gulfport.Scott as a consultant provided access to certain agencies and people that had the power to say yes.His interaction with BPs prime cleanup contractor and its head man, George M. is where most of the money went. This company took in millions and hired many local subcontactors at certain peoples direction and many projects and proposals needed DMRs OK.Guess who was the go betwwen.I would bet Retirement as stated in this mornings Sunhearald is being demanded not offered .Next group to make big money on all of this are the attorneys.
O S DOG

Ocean Springs, MS

#15 Nov 14, 2012
So much info out there about the DMR and the Walkers. If only a small amount is true someone is in deep trouble.I think the biggest question I have is how do you get an appraisel for so much more than a property is worth? That is in my opinion what all of the real estate deals have in common. Every parcel made public is in no way worth or was ever worth even at the peek what has been paid by DMR. How do you get those values? Everything you read and hear is about low values are the norm in the real estate world.Someone let me know how you do it please.
OS good ole boy

Ocean Springs, MS

#16 Nov 14, 2012
O S DOG wrote:
So much info out there about the DMR and the Walkers. If only a small amount is true someone is in deep trouble.I think the biggest question I have is how do you get an appraisel for so much more than a property is worth? That is in my opinion what all of the real estate deals have in common. Every parcel made public is in no way worth or was ever worth even at the peek what has been paid by DMR. How do you get those values? Everything you read and hear is about low values are the norm in the real estate world.Someone let me know how you do it please.
I am not an appraiser but I can tell you that every appraisal can be manipulated some what by up to 20% by using the numbers In addition, if you use comps that you are not suppose to. You can manipulate another 20 %. No one is monitoring the DMR like the banks are being watched over
gulf

Moss Point, MS

#17 Nov 15, 2012
OS good ole boy wrote:
<quoted text>
I am not an appraiser but I can tell you that every appraisal can be manipulated some what by up to 20% by using the numbers In addition, if you use comps that you are not suppose to. You can manipulate another 20 %. No one is monitoring the DMR like the banks are being watched over
That's the way shit has always gone down here on the coast. A few families know each other & this guy gets his son in law this contract or job & this good ole' boy gets his nephew this gravy pencil pushing job & this guy gets this job & on and on. Walker just seems to be on the losing end of this. The problem is that the state is running out of money. This crap has been going on for decades & had the economy not tanked a few years ago -- this wouldn't receive nearly as much scrutiny as it is now.

There are other ways to inflate real estate values by just knowing the ppl who make the assessments official. NOD NOD WINK WINK sure I'll do that for you man. Sure why the hell not?

Typical banter from these types. I hope the Feds come in & deal with this. Walker knows too many Jackson boys too. They'll cover for his ass & they'll cover the asses of the other ppl involved in this bullshit.

That's the way its always worked here. Also I can't get over that term "consultant" to "provide access to" another public official or bureaucrat. The Feds need to come in here & clean up this slop. The locals & the state level auditors are all in bed with each other.

They're all knee-high together in this slop of a corruption racket. Why in the world somebody would want to damn near a million dollars for 2 or 3 acres of bayou land where the water's so black & murky it could pass for coffee is beyond me. "Waterfront real estate."

Yeah, & if you eat the seafood you're nuts. All that oil's still in the water & those shrimp & fish are coming up with no eyes or gills.

Who the hell wants to live on the beach here or eat the seafood or anything? Look @ Jimmy Buffett -- the smart ones take their money & run while they still have the chance.

There's something about this region. I can't put my finger on what it is -- but it just eats you alive. There's something toxic about this region Its impossible to make a decent living without being connected.
gulf

Moss Point, MS

#18 Nov 16, 2012
I just read a few news stories about this. Apparently the inspectors ARE feds. That's good. I thought they were state auditors. Hopefully that'll make sure no good ole boys do a nod & a wink before letting their buddies @ the DMR go.
Salty Dawg

Hattiesburg, MS

#19 Nov 19, 2012
All the land transactions should be reversed and the money paid back to the State. At the very least the sellers should have to pay the difference between the real appraised value and what they received from the DMR or face procecution.
Must be nervous

Ocean Springs, MS

#20 Nov 20, 2012
Maybe the sellers should be offered an amnesty program giving them 30 days to purchase the property back or face prosecution.This situation is a double first cousin to realestate flipping that has been rampant for the last few years.The sellers all know that what happened on the appraisals with bogus inflated values is wrong.It takes the cooperation of all parties-sellers,buyers,apprais ers,financers,and board members to pull these type of scams. The feds will call it a conspiracy and go after all involved.How can a property like Harbor Landing go from a value of $1,300,000. to $4,000,000. in the same period when most properties on the coast declined by 25%? The answer is it could not.

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