WLOX Editorial: Ethics hotline is a step toward accountability

The embattled Mississippi Department of Marine Resources may soon be in a battle for its very existence. Following the indictments of several former DMR staffers including the former director, some legislators want to do away with the agency and put its responsibilities under the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. The indictments paint a picture of fraud and embezzlement.

But the new head of DMR, Jamie Miller has the support of Governor Phil Bryant. The governor says the Mississippi gulf needs the experts of the DMR; the agency administers Mississippi seafood laws and the Coastal Wetlands Act.

We agree there is a need for someone to perform those duties. And if DMR is to continue to exist, there must be regular accountability beyond the agency. We like the idea of the recently announced ethics hotline, but regular audits and legislative oversight are necessary if we are all to believe in the Department of Marine Resources again.

That's our opinion, we would like to hear yours. Email your thoughts to editorials@wlox.com.

Rick Williams
WLOX-TV General Manager

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