State settles for less than half the money DMR spent on boats

State Auditor Stacey Pickering said Friday the state recovering $296,000 from two boats instead of demanding repayment of more than $1 million the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources spent on them doesn’t mean his investigation of the agency is over.

Pickering’s office released its annual report on misappropriated or misspent funds and it shows the state recovered $296,096.60 from the sale of two boats and the reuse of the equipment and electronics on board. The office, along with DMR, negotiated a deal with former DMR Director Bill Walker to turn over his foundation’s boats to the state and DMR oversaw the sale of the two boats. The report says Walker misused public funds.

Pickering said the figure in his report reflects only what DMR got out of the boats and the equipment once the state took possession of them. He said he doesn’t second guess DMR for the amounts they accepted.

Sun Herald