The state auditor's office served sobpoenas at the department's headquarters in Biloxi in late October. Exactly what they were looking for, State Auditor Stacey Pickering would not tell us. He did acknowledge the investigation and said at the time that it could take months before the results were out.
Meanwhile, the FBI was also looking into activities at the department.
The Sun Herald newspaper was given a preliminary report by federal investigators in October.
That report that questions land buys made by DMR with offshore oil money. It is not clear who gave the feds the information..
LINK: The report, published by the SunHerald on their website.
(From the Sun Herald) It also slaps the DMR for allowing the director over the program to use the money to buy land from her parents.
It's issued to states through the federal government. And the DMR oversees the program for Mississippi with the aim of acquiring and conserving coastal property.
The article points to appraisals for property that DMR purchased that were many times (25 times in one case) more than the value asessed by the county.
In the case involving CIAP Director Tina Shumate, the paper pointed out that DMR purchased land from her parents for $245,000, when its actual value was $176,000. That's a waste or misuse of $69,000 of your tax money in just one instance of what the audit says was a pattern.
Bottom line-your tax dollars may have been wasted and Pickering says his office and the feds are trying to get to the bottom of it.
Walker's suspension is indefinite. The Board told media that they are confident Walker will be cleared and they believe he has done a good job leading the agency.