Ennis Parker has moved into the firm’s CEO job while Facility Group founder Robert Moultrie takes time off to defend himself and his company from federal grand jury charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States and “frauds and swindles.”
Q: What kinds of changes have you made or intend to make?
A: Robert [Moultrie] and Nick [Nixon Cawood] are off defending themselves against these charges. They have to focus on that, and we have to focus on our clients. Personally, I think they’ll be vindicated.
Q: Whose decision was it for Moultrie and Cawood to step aside?
A: It was a recommendation of our executive committee and they concurred.
Q: To what extent will Moultrie continue to have a hand in the firm during this period?
A: He’s the principal owner of the firm and is chairman of the board of directors. I report to the board and to him.
Q: Will your firm continue to contribute to political candidates?
A: Certainly not right now. We have to reconsider that going forward.
Q: Will contributions be made through your executives and PAC?
A: If our executives want to give a campaign contribution from their own money, that’s not our business. We’re certainly not going to compensate them for that. It was a huge mistake. It happened in that case [Moultrie’s fundraiser for former Mississippi Gov. Ronnie Musgrove]. Several employees invited to that event were reimbursed [for their campaign contributions]. It was a violation of the rules. We shouldn’t have done it. It won’t be a continuing practice, absolutely not.
Q: One of grand jury indictments against the firm’s three executives are charges of conspiracy to corrupt a public official.
A: They’re trying to say the fund-raiser that Robert hosted at his home for [former Mississippi] Gov. Ronnie Musgrove was a quid pro quo for the firm. I think that’s a bit of a stretch. The bank — not the governor — awarded us the contract three months before the fund-raiser was held.
Q: What happens if the charges can be proved true. Would it be a potentially devastating blow to the firm ?
A: What we’ve done is establish a management structure that can carry on through whatever happens.