HATTIESBURG, Miss. – Former Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (DMR) Chief of Staff Joe Ziegler was sentenced Monday to three years probation, including 90 days of house arrest for concealing a felony.
Prosecutors alleged he conspired with former DMR director Bill Walker and his son Scott Walker to funnel $315,000, intended for the DRM, to a private foundation the older Walker controlled. Ziegler admitted to concealing a felony back in August, and was also ordered, during his Monday morning sentencing, to payback $184,487.28. In exchange for his guilty plea, prosecutors dropped the original charges against him, including mail fraud and conspiracy to commit mail fraud.
Ziegler was the last of seven former MDR workers to be sentenced as a result of a federal and state investigation of the agency.
Bill and Scott Walker have been sentenced to prison on federal charges. And, as a result of a state investigation, five other DMR employees were sentenced in Circuit Court.