Mississippi assistant attorney general’s sons benefitted from grant he applied for at DMR

An assistant attorney general assigned to the state Department of Marine Resources applied for a federal Coastal Impact Assistance Program grant that resulted in contracts for his two sons.

The sons were apparently under age 18 when their contracts to work on the grant’s program were signed because both their parents — Assistant Attorney General Joe Runnels and his wife, Vicki, co-signed the documents.

Joe Runnels refused to talk about the grant project.

“I would love to talk with you, Paul, except for the AG’s office has a policy about not giving interviews to the press,” he said. “So you’d have to talk to Jan Schaefer up at the attorney general’s office.”

Attorney General Jim Hood turned down a request for an interview, but a few days later, Schaefer released a statement that said the office found no violation of law.

Sun Herald
7/22/13