Friday, November 7, 2014

Governor creates task force to review MDOC contracts

Governor Phil Bryant issued the following press release:

Gov. Bryant Creates Task Force to Oversee Mississippi Department of Corrections Contracts Review

JACKSON—Governor Phil Bryant today issued an executive order creating a task force to oversee the review of Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) vendor contracts and the re-bidding process.

On Thursday, Gov. Bryant announced all vendor contracts associated with companies listed in the indictment of former MDOC Commissioner Christopher B. Epps would be re-bid.  Additionally, all other MDOC contracts will be reviewed to ensure they were both legally procured and in the best interest of the taxpayers.

“In light of the allegations of corruption against former MDOC Commissioner Christopher B. Epps, I want to ensure all current vendor contracts with MDOC meet the criteria set forth by Mississippi procurement law and are in the best interest of the Mississippi taxpayers,” Gov. Bryant said. “I know this task force will be able to provide oversight to the review process of current contracts along with those set to go out for re-bid.  I am currently working with the State Auditor to strengthen the controls over contracts throughout the state.”

The task force will oversee MDOC’s review of current contracts and review the new contracts.

The co-chairs of the task force will be Andy Taggart, an attorney and former chief of staff to Gov. Kirk Fordice, and Judge Robert Gibbs, an attorney and former Circuit Judge for the Seventh Judicial District of Mississippi.  Additionally, three other members to be determined at a later date will make up the task force.


Anonymous said...

C-chairs of the task force - lobbyists or lobbyists partners? Will their clients be allowed to bid on any reissued contracts? If so, hell - might as well lets the "Hand of the Governor" (Josh, of course, for those that haven't been keeping up) just do the review in house and report back.

Anonymous said...

why just MDOC...Phil needs to do EVERY agency.

Anonymous said...

Change you can believe in!

Anonymous said...

Phil can't do every agency because then he'd expose all the no-bid contracts that went out to Gregory and MSGOPradio.

Anonymous said...

agree, 6:56...phil needs to look further than MDA, which is under his control, to find some no bid contracts

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to find out who the other 3 really are.

Anonymous said...

task force, that is what Eisenhower used to end World War 2, why not get a freshman accounting student to look into this? It really is not hard to figure out. I realize the Feds started looking into this 4 years ago. Maybe Mississippi people don't know the difference between a Million dollars and a BILLION dollars. Maybe that is why we are 50th in most categories.

Anonymous said...

maybe phil should ask the "task force" to start their review with every josh gregory no bid contracts in state government....however, i'm guessing that would hit a little too close to home

Anonymous said...

legislation was introduced in the 2014 to have more oversight for the state contracting process....our governor, phil bryant, supposedly said that he did not want to see such legislation passed....ah.......guess he's changed his mind....and stacy pickering couldn't find a solution to the contracting problem if his damn life depended on it

Anonymous said...

The people of Mississippi should demand that an investigation be done on each and every state contract for every state agency. Otherwise, how many more of these do we know might be out there?104 These investigations should also be done by private firms, not in-house or by another state agency using state employees.

Anonymous said...

Damn 8:31. This task force isn't going to be a full time, 24/7/365 group. I am assuming it is only supposed to be a part time function for these esteemed citizens. If they had to look at every contract Gregory has gotten - they would have to become state employees.

And if they had to look at the contracts obtained by 'clients' of Gregory - they would have to have sub-task forces, divided by agencies.

But Phil ain't going to open that door; Josh won't let him!

Anonymous said...

anybody notice business as usual????? a white chair, taggarrt, and a black, chair, gibbs....i'm guessing that FEEL really doesn't want to know what the hell is going on in state government...the "task force" should talk to rank and file employees and find out....and phil should have his ass whipped next november...what a damn doofus for a governor...just saying

Anonymous said...

Who has the biggest tanning bed obsession?
Chris Epps
Bill Skinner
Dale danks

Anonymous said...

Danks. No contest. Skinner has only been a contest in the past 15 years. Danks has been a winner since the 80's. Sorry, can't tell about Epps. Maybe he has a tanning bed installed in his coast condo, but I just cant discern its effectiveness.

Still vote for Danks by default.

Johnny Weir said...

Just MDOC? This is crazy! Ten years of corruption. Wow! The general public works their ass off living from paycheck to paycheck and maybe can go out to eat a good meal on Friday night. The connected rakes in money with their little schemes. Every agency should be investigated in Mississippi. No Exception! Phil Bryant is a big JOKE. MS Government really SUCKS! MS Justice System double SUCKS! Sicking.

Anonymous said...

9:29 If the "so called" governor knew what the hell was going on, he would have to do something about it. He doesn't want to know, he might have to get his "cowboy boots" dirty. Oh, and too, he has to wait for his "handlers" to tell him how to "handle" the situation!

Million Here Million There said...

Nothing against Andy. Andy's a fine man, I'm sure. However, Andy was Chief of Staff for another governor who worked this same contract-system for all it was worth.

Ross Barnett and Ray Mabus perfected this system while Jim Buck Ross, Jimmy Heidel and Lester Spell refined it. Nobody with any ties to state government, past or present, should be allowed to investigate this huge mess.

Anonymous said...

wonder if they will look at the lease of the new mdoc headquarters on State St. The Building is a wreck of a place with a parking structure closed only a week after they moved in because it was about to fall in. There has been a fire and elevators dont work. The owner of their last building gave them everything they wanted and was cheaper but they moved anyway. Phil can see all these properties from his floor in Sillers.

Anonymous said...

The Highway Patrol would need its own task force. Only had a 1 Million dollar "Emergency" no bid last year for advertising. Said they traded for new 2 million dollar helicopter which was not true and want an additional $60 million this year.

Anonymous said...

"task force, that is what Eisenhower used to end World War 2, "

WTF? JPS grad? You missed the part about Truman using two atomic bombs to end WWII?

You probably think the Confederates won in 1865 too.

Anonymous said...

Rolled out of my chair laughing this morning as Jimmie Gates suddenly opined that Mississippi needs to re-evaluate the usage of professional services contracts.

Of course, Jimmie nor anyone else for that matter at the C-L said NOTHING about Airwave.

Anonymous said...

The Republican bus just lost another wheel.

Anonymous said...

MY FELLOW AMERICANS and MISSISSIPPIANS, Another day, another group who have carved up and divided the state agencies gets indicted. Consulting business as usual. At this time I am calling on Governor Phil Bryant to appoint someone of the caliber and stature of an ex-FBI director to bring his organization to our state and to examine every state agency and their relationship with these consulting/lobbying crime families. Every no bid and /or emergency contract needs to be rescinded and completely examined to determine if they were let in the best interest of the taxpayers. All monies owed to these various consultants should be frozen until a third party analysis is provided. As this is being accomplished new laws need to be enacted to disallow any organization or individual that participated in managing the campaign of any current public official from doing any business with any state agency. What we have going on within our state government is a complete fleecing of the people by the connected few who operate as consultants and lobbyists. They are using their contacts to inflate contract amounts and then pay in some way monies to those that are arranging for the delivery of these contracts. Mortgage payments,buying cars, campaign donations, the giving 0f expensive gifts like firearms or just bundles 100 dollar bills for safe keeping are just some of the ways that we are seeing the money returned in these various schemes. The participants are already known so the investigation must begin immediately.

Somethin' Don't Look Rite said...

Since the contracts themselves are not illegal, most of what would be found would only be nonsense. All Taggart's bunch can do is say the system appears to need addressing by the legislature. If we had a State Department of Audit, with the ability to investigate, serve subpoenaes, enter premises, search all files and records and hand things over to a grand jury or county prosecutor, that would be the way to proceed.

But we don't have that. The legislature is to blame for this mess and probably 20% of them are as guilty as Epps. And if ex-governors lived forever, 80% of them would be in jail.

Anonymous said...

With all due respect to the Governor, the Attorney General or Auditor's office should be conducting a review of all no-bid contracts for all agencies.

Anonymous said...

Don't trust Taggart as far as you can spit.

Prollem Solved said...

Team Taggart up with Jere Nash and give them both a Columbo raincoat.

Anonymous said...

I agree with 11/08 @ 10:11
Yes. The state and Feds need to investigate all agencies and commissions that Mr. epps was associated with.
Start with the MS WCC, which Mr. Epps chaired for years.
Ck out their no bid contracts for towers, services, consultants.
Emergency is usually their excuse for No bid.

In todays business world there shoild be no justification for no bid.

Anonymous said...

Former Gov. Haley Barbour, who kept Epps on as commissioner through his two terms, said: "You could have knocked me over with a feather. I was just flabbergasted."

That's gonna have to be one big ass feather!

Anonymous said...

The Phil Bryant administration is looking more and more like the old sitcom, Hogan's Heros at Stalag 13, than a group of intelligent professionals. Phil would be a natural for the incompetent Sergeant Shultz character instead of the commander, Col.Klink. If you can remember Shultz would always say "I hear nothing,I see nothing,I know nothing,NOTHING!!!! Also Shultz had a very close relationship with the prisoners(now consultants) and was overly friendly.Shultz would always take small gifts from them(now campaign contributions)and they always got their way.What I suggest the Governor do is up the periscope hidden beneath the trap door in the doghouse and when it comes up in the rain barrel view the landscape around him to see what people are saying about his way too close relationship with people like Goldilocks(Josh Gregory at Frontier) and Mama Bear(Trudy Fisher at wherever).While Phil(Papa Bear)may be able to get thru his current term with these consultants hanging around and scooping up the no bid emergency contracts, he is going to have a hard time in scandal after scandal saying, as Sergeant Shultz would say,"I know nothing" while campaigning for re-election. These consultants like their collegue, Cecil McCrory, are doing great damage to his re-election chances. Even the redneck vote from the rural areas, who just got the constitution adjusted for hunting and fishing, will be educated and aware of this. Is he just to blind to see this? While comparing these people running our state to those at Stalag 13 may be funny the damage being done to Mississippi is not.

Anonymous said...

Everyone wanting the State Auditor to look into these contracts needs to realize that the "auditor" says his office started its' investigation in 2011, yet he and his office sat quietly by as FEEL reappointed Epps in 2012. Me thinks FEEL is thinking our "auditor" set him up. And by the way, if the Epps-McCory scheme started in 2008, who was the "watchdawg auditor" then?

Kingfish said...

I'll play Devil's Advocate. What was he supposed to do? Tell the Governor their was an investigation in progress on one of his appointees? And tip the guy off? Serious question.

Anonymous said...

At KF, the Devil's Advocate, we can play woulda, shoulda, coulda for years but where is the "team playa" here? How much, if any, loyalty is there between Stacy and Phil? Let's take the personalities out of it and just explore the responsibility of a Constituional Officer to another and I'm thinking Stacy has an obligation to inform the Governor of an ongoing investigation involving a Cabinet member, especially one sitting from a previous administration with the potential to be reappointed. Your point is well taken if one believes FEEL could not be trusted to not let the "cat" out of the bag. Don't think anyone would have been shocked, including Epps, if he had not been reappointed by a new Gov. Would love to have video/audio of Guv's handlers, and his reaction, as they broke this story to him. Do you think Stacy and FEEL have had a conversation on this, yet?

Anonymous said...

P.S. @KF

I just thought about the timeline and it is not out of the question that a "newly sworn" Auditor didn't have a clue what his office was investigating.

Kingfish said...

He took office in 2008.

Kingfish said...

2:23, I wouldn't have told him. Not if I'm trying to figure out who else is involved and where else it leads. Nope. Thats me, I understand where you are coming from and its a valid opinion, just not mine. Call me paranoid.

Anonymous said...

@KF 2:34 touche'

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