Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Harrison Supe pleads guilty, County Utility Authority director indicted.

The Office of the U.S. Attorney issued the following press release:



FORMER HARRISON COUNTY SUPERVISOR PLEADS GUILTY TO 
CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT BRIBERY

Gulfport, Miss. – Harrison County Supervisor Kim Savant, 65, of Gulfport, pled guilty today in U.S. District Court to conspiracy to commit bribery in connection with his role as a board member of the Harrison County Utility Authority, announced U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Davis, FBI Special Agent in Charge Donald Alway, and Acting Special Agent in Charge Jerome R. McDuffie with IRS Criminal Investigation.


A criminal Bill of Information was filed against Savant on November 14, 2014, charging him with conspiracy to commit bribery, which carries a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison, a $250,000.00 fine, and up to three years of supervised release. He will be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Sul Ozerden on March 26, 2015 at 9:00 a.m.


From January, 2011, through January, 2013, Savant was a Supervisor for Harrison County, Mississippi, and was a member of the board of the Harrison County Utility Authority (“HCUA”). The HCUA was responsible for managing water, wastewater, storm water and solid waste services in Harrison County, among other things. During this period of time, Savant conspired with another person to commit bribery, that is, Savant performed official actions such as voting for the awarding of HCUA contracts, payments, emergency work and other work worth millions of dollars to a particular company in exchange for Savant receiving $1,500.00 cash per month from a representative of that company.


“When public officials turn to financial gain in exchange for official acts, we will prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law,” said U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Davis. “Public corruption, particularly among our elected officials, undermines the public’s confidence in our system of government. I thank the Assistant U. S. Attorneys, FBI, and IRS - Criminal Investigation for their efforts in the investigation and prosecution of this case.”


Jerome R. McDuffie, Acting Special Agent in Charge, IRS – Criminal Investigation, stated: “All those entrusted to serve the public, whether appointed or elected, should be held to the very highest standards of fiscal responsibility and integrity. It is vitally important that federal funds go toward their intended use and the execution of the mission-critical business. IRS - Criminal Investigation will continue to work with our law enforcement partners in the investigation and potential prosecution of individuals involved in program fraud and the misuse of public monies.”


This case was investigated by the FBI and the IRS - Criminal Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst is prosecuting the case.


Meanwhile, a federal grand jury indicted the executive director of the Harrison County Utility Authority in the same case:

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

As with DMR, the corruption was found when the Feds eventually audited the use of grant funds. Why don't state audits ever find these things? Where was DEQ oversight of the Katrina CDBG sewer money that was awarded to the wrong people and wrong places because of corruption? The take-away is that federal funds should never be given to a state or local entity governed by a appointed commissioners.

Anonymous said...

DEQ really has no means to determine whether bribery is happening between other parties. They're mostly scientists, engineers, accountants, etc., not detectives. It's not like there's a record or that it's typically reported to a non-LE agency. But agencies with criminal investigation authority (like the AG, FBI, etc.) can dig into financials, etc., that others can't. Even then, there has to be some evidence or suspicion to start with, which may not be known by most oversight agencies.

Anonymous said...

A special Holiday Season thanks goes out to Ex-HCBOS Kim Savant from all of the honest hardworking taxpayers here in Harrison County for doing his part in helping keep Mississippi in the #1 position as the most corrupt state in the USA !!!! He will soon be present in the federal courthouse to receive his award. Of course the Ms.Gulf Coast business community has known for sometime he was under investigation. He hid it well from his constituents.While he served as a county supervisor he also professed to be a real estate consultant and was involved in helping people thru the complicated approval process in the same county in which he served. No conflicts here for sure.He also had plenty of help.If the FBI digs a little deeper they will find many of the Coast politicians,both past and present require that to play you must pay. Maybe he will be kind enough to tell the authorities about other illegal acts he has been involved in so all of his corrupt associates and fellow consultants can be rooted out. I bet they can even find his link to Scott Walker if they try because there is one. Bill Walker even referred him to his defense attorney, who now represents Savant. Such a close knit group of gang members.They make us so proud.

Anonymous said...

Tip of the iceberg for this guy and his co-defendents. According to the paper this guy was a city council member for a dozen years. Curious about the amount of monthly cash payments he was being handed then and by who.

Anonymous said...

I'll be damned. Wonder of wonders. Another corrupt Republican.

Anonymous said...

Let's see how quickly the Republican politicos in the state disgorge any campaign contributions they have received from their wayward party brother Savant.

Anonymous said...

Just another CONsultant?

Linkedin:

"Kim Savant

Owner/consultant at Kim B. Savant Consulting Services

Gulfport, Mississippi
Government Administration"

"Owner/consultant
Kim B. Savant Consulting Services
2005 – Present (9 years)Harrison County, MS

Assist private sector businesses and individuals with local government issues"

Anonymous said...

Kim Savant is not just another consultant but a CONsultant-R with a special emphasis on resolving complex issues at the HCBOS and the HCUA that he helped create for both business and individuals. KBSCS had an office located right inside the Harrison County Court House for his client's convenience.His claim to fame should be "I never worked at a state agency or on the governor's staff.I learned my dishonest ways at the local level."

Anonymous said...

Isn't the Ms. Gulf Coast known as the headquarters/home of the Ms. Mafia? "Mississippi Mud"!

Anonymous said...

11:27 are you sure you have the correct business name.I was always under the impression that the consulting business he operated under was Savant and Benefield Consulting Services.Somehow Savant took Benefield's seat on the board of supervisors. I guess they could operate under multiple entities to keep the appearance of any impropriety to a minimum.

Anonymous said...

The next shoe to hit the ground in the HCUD investigation should be the relationship Savant and the other HCUD board members had/have with the Ms.Engineering Group.How much have they paid in "consulting" fees to people like and including Savant? How much have they been paid for work just in Harrison County on these CDBG funded projects? One of the HCUD board members told a group of local engineers that the percentage of the totals paid to MEG was 3 times the industry average for the same services on comparable projects. MEG also would not consider the opinions of local infrastructure experts about locating based on need. They took their directions from Haley Barbour who decided who got what and where it went.A great example of this mismanagement and waste is the Riverhills sewer treatment facility and water well.They were relocated from a different proposed location to accommodate a special land owner client of a certain lobbying firm.7 years later this $30 million in infrastructure serves zero customers and existing customers across Harrison County are paying a monthly fee to maintain them all.ALL CDBG MONIES SPENT IN HARRISON COUNTY NEEDS TO BE INVESTIGATED. We have a right to know.

Anonymous said...

That you Randy!!??!!

Anonymous said...

@1:43- just showing what google found on Linkedin.

Not much else turned up for "Kim B. Savant Consulting Services" on google, but even less for "Savant and Benefield" anything. Try that search for yourself. Not doubting this, but

Mississippi SOS shows nothing for either of these entities.

Anonymous said...

To finish my post at 2:35 Please go to the Ms.Supreme Court website and read case#2012-SA-00699 Riverbend Utilities Inc. vs. MsDEQ and HCUD. This case is a one example of how infrastructure was dictated to be placed where there was no need. Also going back to the RiverHills sewer treatment facility that was mentioned in the SunHerald this week,this facility was originally to be placed in a location west of its current site were the facility could have been put in operation and used immediately by accepting sewage for treatment from Riverbend Utilities. Who changed the final location to where it currently sits in a flood way with no customers? I have knowledge of these issues because of my involvement in the litigation that has already taken place over the misuse of the CDBG funds in Harrison County. Mark my word, if every CDBG funded project is investigated and audited by the Feds many more will be indicted.

Anonymous said...

To finish my post at 2:35 Please go to the Ms.Supreme Court website and read case# 2012-SA-00699 Riverbend Utilities Inc. vs. MsDEQ and HCUD. This case is a prime example of how infrastructure was dictated to be placed where there was no need. Also going back to the RiverHills sewer treatment facility that was mentioned in the SunHerald this week,this facility was originally to be placed in a location west of its current location were the facility could have been put in operation and used immediately by accepting sewage for treatment from Riverbend Utilities. Who changed the final location to where it currently sits in a flood way with no customers? I have knowledge of these issues because of my involvement in the litigation that has already taken place over the misuse of the CDBG funds in Harrison County. Mark my word, if every CDBG funded project is investigated and audited by the Feds many more will be indicted.

Anonymous said...

"Mark my word, if every CDBG funded project is investigated and audited by the Feds many more will be indicted."

Better INHALE because that won't happen. Expect another game of small ball when it comes to investigating and indicting. Now if it were a bunch of little people making less than 50k- why then there'd be a big show.

Anonymous said...

Why is it that the Feds can jump on and catch corruption in every county but Madison county?

Anonymous said...

I know first hand that there are other HCBS guilty of corruption including trying to force citizens to sell property using the county code office to harass them. I just learned that HCBS Martin has committed suicide because of charges. If anyone from the FBI sees this. Please investigate our local law enforcement with special attention on the prosecutors office. Ask local attorneys about the corruption in those offices.

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