Troubled state agency selling boats worth estimated $400K

by Associated Press

Published: June 24,2013

Tags: audit, auditing, auditor, boat, boater, boating, grant, gulf, marine, misappropriation, ocean, sale, sell, state agency, water, watercraft

BILOXI — The Mississippi Commission on Marine Resources will open bids July 16 for two large fishing vessels once owned by a foundation run by the agency’s former director.

WLOX-TV in Biloxi reports the vessels are a 36-foot Topaz and a 42-foot Californian. They are docked in Biloxi and are worth an estimated $400,000. A classified ad says MDMR is soliciting sealed bids for the vessels until July 15.

The Marine Resources Foundation was run by ex-MDMR director Bill Walker. They were leased to MDMR for several at a cost of more than $1 million. Walker was fired earlier this year as state and federal investigations into MDMR spending practices became public.

The vessels were used to take state lawmakers, other elected officials and influential citizens on fishing trips.

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