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$600K in education contracts with supt’s ex-colleagues

A newspaper reports that Mississippi’s education department has more than $600,000 worth of contracts with two of the superintendent’s former co-workers and affiliated companies, and some appear to duplicate each other.

Superintendent Carey Wright tells The Clarion-Ledger that the department needed urgent, major work in information technology, and she hired companies with expertise in evaluating, organizing and modernizing such operations.

The newspaper says the contracts went to John Porter and Elton Stokes Jr., and companies they had ties with. Porter is now the department’s chief information officer.

The Clarion-Ledger reports that both men and the companies declined comment. Wright’s comment was in a written statement to the newspaper.

The state contract database and board meeting minutes show that Porter, Stokes and related companies have had eight contracts with MDE since 2014 totaling $604,836.

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