An ex-director of Mississippi’s welfare company pleads responsible over misspent cash : NPR

An ex-director of Mississippi’s welfare company pleads responsible over misspent cash : NPR

John Davis, former director of the Mississippi Division of Human Companies, enters the Thad Cochran United States Courthouse in Jackson, Mississippi Thursday, the place he pleads responsible to new federal costs in a conspiracy to waste tens of tens of millions of {dollars} They have been supposed to assist households in want.

Rogelio V. Solis/AP


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Rogelio V. Solis/AP


John Davis, former director of the Mississippi Division of Human Companies, enters the Thad Cochran United States Courthouse in Jackson, Mississippi Thursday, the place he pleads responsible to new federal costs in a conspiracy to waste tens of tens of millions of {dollars} They have been supposed to assist households in want.

Rogelio V. Solis/AP

JACKSON, Mississippi — A former Mississippi welfare company director pleaded responsible Thursday to new federal costs in a conspiracy to waste tens of tens of millions of {dollars} supposed to assist needy households in one among America’s poorest states. UU., A part of the biggest case of public corruption within the historical past of the state.

John Davis appeared in federal court docket to plead responsible to at least one rely of conspiracy and one rely of fraud towards the federal government. In the course of the listening to, US District Decide Carlton Reeves requested a number of questions on whether or not Davis understood the costs to which he pleaded responsible.

“Sure, sir,” Davis responded every time.

Reeves set sentencing for February 2. Davis stays out on bail, and the decide mentioned he hopes Davis will make higher selections going ahead.

“I am trying ahead to this a part of your life being behind you,” Reeves mentioned.

Davis was indicted on state costs in February 2020. He was indicted once more this spring on state costs of involvement within the misuse of welfare cash, together with utilizing half to ship a former skilled wrestler to a drug rehab facility. deluxe.

The state costs can be dropped in trade for Davis agreeing to plead responsible to the federal costs and testify towards others within the case, in line with a state court docket settlement filed Wednesday. The state court docket doc mentioned Davis had agreed to plead responsible to 5 counts of conspiracy and 13 counts of fraud in federal court docket, however pleaded responsible to at least one rely every. Federal court docket attorneys didn’t point out a number of costs or clarify the content material of the state court docket doc.

Federal costs have been filed on September 15, however remained sealed till Wednesday. Federal court docket information present that Davis appeared earlier than a trial decide on Wednesday and that Davis waived prosecution and agreed to face trial on the federal costs.

Davis was government director of the Mississippi Division of Human Companies from February 2016 to July 2019. He was appointed to the place by the then-governor. Phil Bryant, Republican.

Federal costs say Davis conspired with 4 different folks, who usually are not named. Courtroom paperwork describe two of the alleged co-conspirators as CEOs of organizations, one because the proprietor of two companies, and one as solely a resident of Hinds County, Mississippi. The capital metropolis of Jackson is in Hinds County.

The conspiracy costs say one of many organizations paid one of many corporations practically $498,000 in June 2018. A number of days later, that firm signed a $1.1 million contract with the opposite firm “allegedly in trade for making a program to serve younger folks from the internal metropolis. .” The costs additionally say the identical group paid $700,000 that summer time to the corporate with the youth program contract.

Theft costs say Davis misused federal grants of greater than $10,000.

The conspiracy cost is punishable by as much as 5 years in jail and a $250,000 superb, and the theft cost carries as much as 10 years in jail and a $250,000 superb.

In April, a mom and her son, who ran a nonprofit group and an training firm, pleaded responsible to state costs of embezzling welfare cash, together with lavish presents equivalent to first-class airfare for Davis. Nancy New and Zachary New agreed to testify towards others.

In a state court docket submitting on September 12, an legal professional for one of many Information organizations listed textual content messages between retired NFL quarterback Brett Favre and Nancy New, between Favre and Bryant and between Bryant and New.

The messages featured discussions of tens of millions of {dollars} in welfare cash going to a pet undertaking of Favre’s: a volleyball facility being constructed on the College of Southern Mississippi. Favre, Bryant and New attended school, with Favre’s daughter beginning taking part in volleyball there in 2017. Favre and Bryant haven’t been charged within the case with improper welfare spending.

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