U.S. District Judge Michael P. Mills in north Mississippi sentenced Nixon Cawood Jr. on Thursday after telling the disgraced executive he was “astonished” by his request for leniency.
Cawood was snagged in a federal investigation into the failure of Mississippi Beef Processors LLC, a cattle processing plant that closed only three months after it opened in 2004, costing 400 jobs and sticking Mississippi taxpayers with $55 million in state-backed loans.
Cawood is one of three former executives of The Facility Group of Smyrna, Ga., to plead guilty in the case. The company managed construction of the plant.
Cawood had asked to be sentenced to community service as a consultant to Mississippi’s junior colleges because he claimed to have cooperated in the case.
That did not sit well with the judge. Mills told Cawood the last place he would send Cawood was “Hinds Community College.” And when Cawood’s attorney asked the judge to recommend that Cawood serve the prison time in Alabama, the judge said he would not recommend anything “other than not to let him go to Hinds Community College.”