Audit: DMR misspent millions; family, friends benefited - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Audit: DMR misspent millions; family, friends benefited

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

A federal audit has found millions in grant money administered by the Department of Marine Resources was misspent by the agency.

The report from the Office of Inspector General reviewed $99.8 million in Coastal Impact Assistance Program (CIAP) grants awarded to the State of Mississippi and determined $39 million, which represents 57 percent of the grant projects approved, did not meet the criteria of CIAP legislation.

(View the entire report: http://www.doi.gov/oig/reports/upload/ER-IN-MOA-0013-2011Public.pdf)

The report also found what it calls widespread conflicts of interest in the administration of CIAP and land purchases, improper land appraisals, circumvention of procurement regulations, improper charges to grants, improper use of equipment, and various accounting, payroll, and financial issues.

The report cites "undisclosed conflicts of interest between a DMR CIAP official, another DMR senior official, the Mississippi Gulf Coast National Heritage Area, and their family and friends were at the core of 23 grants totaling roughly $16 million."

Among the projects cited in the report: $483,650 for the Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art Welcome Center; $89,735 for the Pass Christian Harbor Expansion -Phases 1 & 2; and $226,039 for the Infinity Project.

The Office of Inspector General made 37 recommendations to help eliminate the deficiencies.

Doug Walker will have reaction to the audit from the DMR's new director later today on WLOX News and WLOX.com.

Copyright 2013 WLOX. All rights reserved.

  • NEWSMore>>

  • Bay High Tigers are unbeaten in the Region 8-4A basketball ranks

    Bay High Tigers are unbeaten in the Region 8-4A basketball ranks

    Tuesday, January 16 2018 11:43 PM EST2018-01-17 04:43:39 GMT

    After 19 games the Bay High Tigers have posted 10 wins and 9 losses.  In the Region 8-4A ranks the Tigers are unbeaten with a 6-0.

    More >>

    After 19 games the Bay High Tigers have posted 10 wins and 9 losses.  In the Region 8-4A ranks the Tigers are unbeaten with a 6-0.

    More >>
  • LIST: Some South Mississippi schools cancel Wednesday classes because of cold

    LIST: Some South Mississippi schools cancel Wednesday classes because of cold

    Tuesday, January 16 2018 11:10 PM EST2018-01-17 04:10:56 GMT

    Another winter blast reaches South Mississippi Tuesday and the forecast includes the possibility of snow and ice in several counties in South Mississippi. So, some school administrators are taking no chances.

    More >>

    Another winter blast reaches South Mississippi Tuesday and the forecast includes the possibility of snow and ice in several counties in South Mississippi. So, some school administrators are taking no chances.

    More >>
  • House plan: Little change in aid to schools in next 2 years

    House plan: Little change in aid to schools in next 2 years

    Tuesday, January 16 2018 7:26 PM EST2018-01-17 00:26:04 GMT

    There would be little change in state aid to Mississippi public school districts in the next two years under a new funding formula being pushed by House Republican leaders.

    More >>

    There would be little change in state aid to Mississippi public school districts in the next two years under a new funding formula being pushed by House Republican leaders.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly