Does Paper's Probe Of MDOT Go Too Far?

In its indepth multi-part series on the functions of the Department of Transportation, The Sun Herald criticizes MDOT for what it calls a lack of progress on building a new Biloxi-Ocean Springs Bridge.

The paper's web page lists the names and salaries of every MDOT worker and Michael Ross's wife says that's wrong.

"I feel like the reason they're doing this is they have a vendetta against MDOT and I believe this vendetta has something to do with the six lane bridge MDOT wants to build over Biloxi Bay. And I just think it's wrong for them to drag every MDOT employee in on their vendetta against MDOT. My husband has nothing to do with anything that is going on with Wayne Brown, with anything to do with that bridge," says Barbara Ross.

Michael Ross's supervisor advised him not to talk to us, so his wife is talking for him.

"I feel like I'm doing it for everyone who's in a public position whose salary is paid by tax dollars. They need to know and understand that anyone can access their personal information. I think it's an invasion of privacy," she says.

Stan Tiner, The Sun Herald's executive editor told us, "Our ongoing MDOT coverage included a look at the agency's more than $800 million annual budget. We posted on our website a public document that included MDOT's payroll. Any citizen could request and receive that same document because it's the public's right to know how their tax money is spent."

Barbara Ross says she understands that the workings of state agencies are public information. But she says if people want to know how their tax dollars are spent, they can find out on their own without salaries being printed on a website.