Joseph Ziegler to plead guilty in DMR corruption case

Left to right: Joseph Ziegler, Jr.; Attorney Joe Sam Owen.
Left to right: Joseph Ziegler, Jr.; Attorney Joe Sam Owen.

SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - WLOX News has learned of another development in the Department of Marine Resources corruption case. At about the same time Scott Walker learned his sentence on Wednesday, former DMR administrator Joseph Ziegler, Jr. filed a motion to change his plea to guilty.

Ziegler is facing one count of conspiracy and two counts of mail fraud. The judge has not yet ruled on that request.

Ziegler and former DMR Coastal Management and Planning Director Tina Shumate are the last two former department employees implicated in the corruption case indictments.

Shumate's attorney has always said she intends on having her case heard in court.

Last month, former DMR Director Bill Walker was ordered to serve the maximum sentence of 60 months in prison for his role in the corruption case. His son, Scott Walker, was sentenced to 18 months in prison followed by three years of probation on Wednesday.

Former D'Iberville City Manager Michael Janus was sentenced to 21 months behind bars after pleading guilty to defrauding the city out of thousands of dollars.

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