BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Governor Phil Bryant on Tuesday named Jamie Miller to lead the Department of Marine Resources. If confirmed by the Mississippi State Senate, Miller would take over an agency that's under investigation by federal and state authorities. Those who know him, like developer Joe Cloyd, are pleased with the choice.
"I interacted with him a lot when he was in the governor's office when he was doing a lot of post-Hurricane Katrina work and some BP oil spill type work, and I think he'll be a great steward of the coast resources," Cloyd said.
The DMR oversees just about everything involving the coastal waters, from shrimping to oysters to reef building. Miller's background in Marine Science, plus government experience, seemed to play well with the crowd that attended Tuesday's announcement.
Bill Webb is a family friend.
"I've known Jamie for years," Webb recalled. "I've been on the coast since '95, met Jamie shortly thereafter in Pascagoula when he worked for the city over there... especially after Katrina, the hard work he did and then managing a large amount of money that came in after Katrina."
Miller's confirmation by the Senate is expected to go smoothly, according to lawmakers WLOX News spoke with Tuesday.
"We're going to ask him the hard questions and dig right in and make sure we got the right guy," explained Senator Michael Watson from Pascagoula. "I think we do, but again we want to make sure through more questions and background checks to understand that this is the right guy for the job."
Even DMR Interim Director Danny Guice, who wanted the job himself, is pleased.
"I think he made an excellent choice in Jamie Miller. He's from the coast, he knows the coast, he knows government and I'm happy to help him in any way I can," Guice said.
The senate confirmation hearings for Miller could be held as early as next week.