News of the indictment — and plea deal — of a central character in the Mississippi Beef Processors project received a mixed reaction in the state’s business community last week.
Many are not surprised that Richard N. Hall Jr. is going to prison for his role in the beef processing plant failure. Many are also now wondering where the ongoing investigation into the state-funded economic development failure is headed. Other indictments related to the $55-million disaster are possible.
There is little doubt that one of the most unfortunate outcomes of this debacle has been the tarnished reputation of economic development in the state. We suspect that many Mississippians now question the legitimacy of the process based on their understanding of the beef plant story. And that’s too bad considering the dedication and hard work of so many in the profession.
As federal investigators and state officials continue their investigation into this mess, we suggest that it is equally critical for those of us with a vested interest in economic development — and the state’s involvement in it — demand greater accountability and help make the distinctions between what happened with the beef plant and what’s going on with other projects.
BEFORE YOU GO…
… we’d like to ask for your support. More people are reading the Mississippi Business Journal than ever before, but advertising revenues for all conventional media are falling fast. Unlike many, we do not use a pay wall, because we want to continue providing Mississippi’s most comprehensive business news each and every day. But that takes time, money and hard work. We do it because it is important to us … and equally important to you, if you value the flow of trustworthy news and information which have always kept America strong and free for more than 200 years.
If those who read our content will help fund it, we can continue to bring you the very best in news and information. Please consider joining us as a valued member, or if you prefer, make a one-time contribution.Click for more info