Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Madison County Supervisor owns land next to projects he supports with his votes

If we are going to start raising a ruckus in Madison County, let's do it right. No, this post won't be about the Mayor or the charity guru Tim Johnson but rather on someone else: Supervisor Karl Banks.



Apparently Mr. Banks owns a bunch of land smack dab in the middle of a bunch of proposed development in Madison County. He owns a nice sized tract right next to the site for the proposed water park. If you look at the linked map, the same land sits next to Calhoun Station as well. Its no crime to own land and profit from said ownership. However, there are some details about this property and his votes that beg examination. Map

The property at issue is owned by Miller Banks Lands, a company owned by Karl Banks and his brother Fred, the former Mississippi Supreme Court Justice. Miller Banks Lands acquired several tracts from November 2004 to January 2005 comprising the current tract next to the proposed water park and next to Calhoun Station Parkway. The tract is estimated to be only two thousand feet away from the Parkway if the map is accurate. Deed 1, Deed 2, Deed 3 Deed 4

The problem is, Karl hasn't exactly been recusing himself from votes concerning Calhoun Station and the proposed Water Park. These projects and their accompanying improvements still make Banks' land more valuable even though the economy is in a recession and real estate sales are slow.

On September 17 2004, Karl Banks voted along with the rest of the board Board to "authorize Mr. Woody Sample of Sample & Associates to begin the process of acquiring rights of way along, pertaining to, and associated with, the proposed Calhoun Station Parkway and designate Mr. Sample as the acquisition agent for said project
Following discussion, Mr. Karl M. Banks did move and Mr. Paul Griffin did second a motion to retain Mr. Woody Sample of Sample & Associates under the contract currently in effect with the county to begin the process of acquiring certain rights of way along, pertaining to, and associated with, the proposed Calhoun Station Parkway and designate Mr. Sample as the acquisition agent for said project." Page 5 This vote took place two months before Miller Banks Land began snapping up the property at issue.

However, that was only one vote. Mr. Banks kept at it:
April 4, 2005: Voted to approve the purchase of more easements and rights of way for Calhoun Station. Page 7
February 7, 2005: Voted to relocate an Entergy pole for the construction of Calhoun Station Parkway only a few weeks after gaining title to the property nearby. Page 16
June 20, 2005: Voted to pay $20,000 to Bellsouth for right of way for proposed Calhoun Station Parkway Project. Page 7
August 22, 2005: Voted to approve a change order for Calhoun Station. Page 20
April 24, 2006: Voted to reconsider several engineering contracts for Calhoun Station Parkway Phase II. Page 7
April 2, 2007: Banks proposed a motion, seconded by Elvis, to accept and approve the construction drawings for Calhoun Station. Page 10
January 7, 2008: Banks proposes a successful motion for the purchase of a parcel of land for the Calhoun Station Parkway Project. Page 24
January 15, 2008: Banks proposes a successful motion to revise plats of Calhoun Station phase III. Page 30
September 15, 2008: Banks proposed a motion to approve amendments to engineering agreement on Calhoun Station Parkway phase III. Motion was approved and Banks voted for it. Page 4
November 3, 2008: Banks proposed a motion to approve the acquisition of rights of way for Calhoun Station. Page 8
November 17, 2008: Banks voted for memorandum of understanding for county to receive donations of rights of way for Calhoun Station Parkway phase III. Page 12
December 15, 2008: Banks offered a successful motion to accept donations and pay for right of ways. Page 16
February 18, 2009: Banks voted with the rest of the board to approve the final construction plans for phase II of Calhoun Station. Page 15.
August 3, 2009: Banks offered a motion to authorize Warnock to redesign Calhoun Station Parkway phase II, re-acquire rights of way, and seek more funding from MDOT. Page 17
October 19, 2009: Banks offered a motion for a memorandum of understanding between Calhoun Station Properties, LLC and the County to approve acquisition of certain rights of way. Page 26 The LLC was only established three days prior to the vote. Dwayne Ballard is the only listed officer.
February 16, 2010: Proposed a motion to acknowledge final receipt of Calhoun Station phase II construction plans. Voted for Motion. Page 6

There are more votes (Enter "Calhoun Station" in search box) but you get the idea. Mr. Banks engaged in a clear pattern of casting votes for motions that would clearly benefit the value of his property. Many times Mr. Banks did not just vote for the motion but was the supervisor who proposed it. Mr. Banks even went so far this year as to vote for a resolution stating the Board's support to the Madison County School Board for the proposed water park. Page 16

A precedent was set by a former Mississippi Governor twenty years ago. In 1990, Governor Ray Mabus relieved Adjutant General Jim Farmer of his duties as commanding officer of the Mississippi National Guard after he and several friends purchased several acres next to the main gate to Camp Shelby after expansion of the base was announced. Articles Mabus said then Farmer had violated his public trust and said he couldn't "help" Farmer if the Adjutant General couldn't understand what he had done wrong.

Public corruption is an epidemic in Mississippi and unfortunately, we shrug our shoulders whenever we see it. Every time Mr. Banks proposes a motion or votes on matters concerning his land, he slaps the public in the face and dares them to do something about it. Its quite clear Mr. Banks has no respect for his office nor those who elected him. Tim Johnson yesterday spoke of "appearances". If a Supervisor snapping up title to land and then repeatedly using his position as a public official to enrich himself at our expense is not an appearance of a conflict of interest", it is hard to see what is.

Karl Banks should resign from the Madison County Board of Supervisors. Its not enough for him to merely recuse himself from any votes that might give the appearance of a conflict of interest. He lost that courtesy after the fifth, tenth, or fifteenth vote he cast to support Calhoun Station Parkway and the proposed water park. If Mr. Banks wants to get rich off land deals, he is welcome to do so on his own dime.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you Kingfish.......

Anonymous said...

Send this to the U.S. Attorney's office so they can prosecute him under 18 U.S.C. s. 1346, before the Supreme Court strips the DoJ from using it...surely this would fit under the umbrella of "honest services" fraud!

Anonymous said...

Kingfish, keep connecting the dots. There is definately more to come...

Anonymous said...

Well, Kingfish did you stun the bloggers or is it they too knew what was going on and now it all has come out and they are sweeping at their doorsteps. I am so proud of your stuff I have been waiting and I knew you would find it but believe me there is more.......

Anonymous said...

Remember Highland Colony Parkway was pay 50% roads and I think Banks was partners on some land there, and was that another politician involved then like the tax accessor barber?

Anonymous said...

Somebody has some explaining to do. How on earth is Banks going to defend this?

Did the rest of the board not know he had ownership of this property, that he was voting in favor of every chance he could? Guess not?

Kingfish, you've sniffed out some real stinky rats in the woodpile before, but this one is right up there with the stinkiest! Great job.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Just wow. I knew that politics were stinky and loose in MS, but this certainly takes the case. It goes to show the lengths people will go to for money.

Anonymous said...

Thanks KingFish... Fantastic Job! Incredible research and documentation. It is amazing that in some of the early Calhoun Station votes in 2002, 2003, 2004 he did recuse himself and stated that he had interest in some adjacent property... Perhaps he has amnesia and forgot about his interest and the law...

Keep on keeping on!!! Don't let'em rest! Keep digging...

The citizens of Madison County are sick and tired of being sick and tired of these political shenanigans resulting in low priority roads to nowhere... And, doing nothing to improve movement of traffic in the highly populated and congested areas that provide the tax base!

Kingfish has morphed into a feeding shark!

Anonymous said...

Unbelieveable, and the other Supervisors did not know about any of this or the Board Attorney. Is this fraud, corruption or just thinking every one is a dumbass and no one will ever notice.

Anonymous said...

Rudy Warnock will be exonerated.

Anonymous said...

New to the area but in my previous home state we dumped the "supervisor" title for "county councilman". Then set up a county admisistrator to run things, the council just voted on his recommandations. Took a while but to kill off all the little Ceasers but after a couple of election cycles quality people started running. Open forums and lots of daylight help, something Madison County needs. KF keep that spotlinght on!

Anonymous said...

You are describing the current system in Madison and many Mississippi counties.

Anonymous said...

KINGFISH FOR ATTORNEY GENERAL


AND HELL NO I'M NOT BULLSHITTING!

Anonymous said...

http://www.ethics.state.ms.us/ethics/ethics.nsf

§ 25-4-103. Definitions

The following definitions apply in this article unless the context otherwise requires:

(a) "Authority" means any component unit of a governmental entity.

(b) "Benefit" means any gain or advantage to the beneficiary, including any gain or advantage to a third person pursuant to the desire or consent of the beneficiary.

(c) "Business" means any corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship, firm, enterprise, franchise, association, organization, holding company, self- employed individual, joint stock company, receivership, trust or other legal entity or undertaking organized for economic gain, a nonprofit corporation or other such entity, association or organization receiving public funds.

(d) "Business with which he is associated" means any business of which a public servant or his relative is an officer, director, owner, partner, employee or is a holder of more than ten percent (10%) of the fair market value or from which he or his relative derives more than Two Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($2,500.00) in annual income or over which such public servant or his relative exercises control.

(e) "Compensation" means money or thing of value received, or to be received, from any person for services rendered.

(h) "Governmental entity" means the state, a county, a municipality or any other separate political subdivision authorized by law to exercise a part of the sovereign power of the state.

(i) "Income" means money or thing of value received, or to be received, from any source derived, including but not limited to, any salary, wage, advance, payment, dividend, interest, rent, forgiveness of debt, fee, royalty, commission or any combination thereof.

Anonymous said...

http://www.ethics.state.ms.us/ethics/ethics.nsf

§ 25-4-105. Contract restrictions and other prohibited conduct; penalties

(2) No public servant shall be interested, directly or indirectly, during the term for which he shall have been chosen, or within one (1) year after the expiration of such term, in any contract with the state, or any district, county, city or town thereof, authorized by any law passed or order made by any board of which he may be or may have been a member.

(3) No public servant shall:

(a) Be a contractor, subcontractor or vendor with the governmental entity of which he is a member, officer, employee or agent, other than in his contract of employment, or have a material financial interest in any business which is a contractor, subcontractor or vendor with the governmental entity of which he is a member, officer, employee or agent.

Anonymous said...

Where is Calhoun Station? What kind of road is it? How is road being paid for? private or public funds?

Anonymous said...

Originally it was planned to be a parkway (4 land divided roadway) running north/south from Gluckstadt Road north to Hwy 22. It was to be done in three phases, with Phase 2 being completed first. Phase 2 runs from Church Road to Sowell Road. The proposed Water Park development and the now on hold Factory Outlet development is located near the intersection of Sowell Rd and Calhoun Station; also very near the land owned by one Karl Banks, County Supervisor. Well these idiots realized after pissing our money away on the pipe dream of Reunion Interchange that they could no longer afford the parkway plans, they contracted with Rudy Warnock to RE-design the road, this time to a three lane road, both north and south of the current 4 land blvd. Well now we have paid for two sets of design plans and maybe not even enough money to build either one! Neither were needed to begin with, at least no at the tax payers expense. This is a deal that should have involved the land owner's partnering with developer's to pay for such a project! If anything, we the taxpayers, need to have installed a GIANT CANNON at the Board of Supervisors to fire their collective butts right out of office. With technology today I'd bet we could even hit the exercise yard at the State Pen!

Anonymous said...

Mary Mary quite contrary, how does your garden grow?

With influence peddling, ego, and blame of others....

Thats how my garden grows.

Kaptain Kangaroo said...

If KF runs, I'll donate my time. PR, marketing, envelope stuffing, riding the back hills of MS to catch the ballot box stuffers.

KK

He knows where to reach me.

Anonymous said...

Are any of the media outlets going to report on this? They believe the story is about Mary and the freaking $400,000.00 that is in an escrow account. Smoke screens might turn into valcano ash next, cause I would imagine there are going to be a few much eruptions. Where is Hood don't forget Mabus became governor when he brought down Rankin county and their county officials, one in particular Irl Dean Rhodes. Oh by the way he went to jail for a long time, will this happen in Madison county?

Anonymous said...

Maybe someone will send blog link to Paul Gallo and Jerry Lousteau (Canton)...
pgallo@telesouth.com
jlou1@prodigy.net

Kingfish said...

If it came from me, Gallo won't cover it.

Anonymous said...

Sure he would if you coughed up the $$$green$$$. All pay-for-play media whores are available for a price.

Anonymous said...

Kingfish,

Thank you for shining the light on Mr. Banks. Karl and his two comrades Tim Johnson and Paul Griffin have formed a coailiton that has left some areas of the county with absoulutely no voice as they block vote on all issues.

I think there will be much more to be found if the digging continues. Mr. Banks was the lead broker on the Eastview deal about four years ago on Yandell Rd. Karl attempted to bring in an out of state developer and build 1400 sq. foot houses which were far out of character with the area. Karl recused himself but lobbied hard in the background with P&Z members and his fellow supervisors. He simply had no business mixing the role of broker/developer and supervisor but he continues these type activities with no signs of slowing down.

Karl met stiff resistance from a citizen group on Eastview and was ultimately defeated. He has held a grudge ever since against active citizen groups basically asserting they are a bunch of racist trying to control housing. Honestly, that is his view.

Please keep digging on the three musketeers because I am convinced there is much more to be discovered and Madison county needs some relief, soon!

Anonymous said...

Karl and his two comrades Tim Johnson and Paul Griffin have formed a coailiton that has left some areas of the county with absoulutely no voice as they block vote on all issues.

Same fate as those who oppose the decision making of MHB within the City of Madison.

Anonymous said...

Bless yo heart, KF. Yours CLANK!

Anonymous said...

Karl Banks votes illegally in each and every election also. He lives at a Southhampton address in Lake Caroline (go to Lake Caroline's Website and see address) but votes "at my mama's house" in Canton. His wife is registered at another address. Super (visor) Karl...he has a powerful "anti-law" force field sheild...the laws do not apply to him. He has been questioned about why he doesn't register where he lives and he reportedly said "I've always voted at my mama's house and I am going to keep voting at my mama's house".

Meanwhile other voters in Madison County and the State of Mississippi votes would be thrown out for this illegal voting.

Anonymous said...

Kingfish--Gallo today: "9:05 D. I. Smith, Madison County Supervisor-Madison Engineer Rudy Warnocks attorney, Dorsey Carson has delivered a letter to the Madison County Board of Supervisors pertaining to the recent County analysis performed by Richard McAfee. RE Mr. Richard McAfees Unauthorized Use of Professional Engineer Title and Unauthorized Practice of Engineering in Mississippi."

Anonymous said...

KF, WJTV "Madison County Board Of Supervisors Sues MDOT." Didn't know if you'd be interested.

Anonymous said...

Oooh! This Banks thing sounds like an environmental justice suit and fraudulent activity of a public official. Sounds like someone needs to notify the US Department of Justice. The dates of the Banks acquisition compared to the date of his first vote, are indicators of fraud, waste and abuse. Banks could possibly have Federal charges brought against him. The previous landowners could make a great case for being screwed by Banks' deal as a public official and taking such actions.

Anonymous said...

The coast needs a blog like JJ. Supv Brodnax did the same thing with the route for the new Hwy15. Harrison and Hancock are even worse.

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