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Appeal bond for Watkins under consideration

Associated Press

Mississippi Court of Appeals judges are considering whether a Jackson developer who was ordered to pay more than $600,000 for securities violations must post an appeals bond while he tries to overturn that ruling.

Three judges heard arguments Wednesday from attorneys representing developer David Watkins and from lawyers for Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann.

Requiring Watkins to post an appeal bond is “the only way to sufficiently protect the taxpayers,” said Jim Smith, representing Hosemann.

Watkins’ attorney, Brad Pigott, said Watkins was financially ruined by Hosemann’s “three years of crusading” and has no assets. Watkins and his wife recently lost their house, Pigott said.

It was Hosemann who initiated an administrative proceeding against Watkins for alleged securities violations. A hearing officer found that Watkins diverted money intended for redevelopment of part of Metrocenter Mall in Jackson and using it for renovation of a police department building in Meridian.

The state appeals court ruled in June that Watkins and his company, Watkins Development LLC, must repay $587,000 in misused bond money, plus $75,000 in fines.

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About Ross Reily

Ross Reily is editor of the Mississippi Business Journal. He is a husband to an amazing wife, dad to 3 crazy kids and 2 dogs. He is also a fan of the Delta State Fighting Okra and the Boston Red Sox.

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