No sooner had the Board of Directors for the Department of Marine Resources suspended Executive Director Bill Walker without pay, than Deputy Director and former Representative Danny Guice said he wanted the job. The Sun-Herald reported this weekend:
"Though the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources is the focus of ongoing state and federal probes, its recently suspended chief appointed a former state lawmaker as a deputy director in November and the new employee hopes he'll be permanently appointed to replace his boss.
The Commission on Marie Resources suspended DMR Executive Director Bill Walker indefinitely without pay Friday while the investigation continues. Walker, who hired Danny Guice as deputy director, plans to retire between now and June, and Guice is in charge during Walker's suspension.
Guice, a former state lawmaker who represented Ocean Springs, is interested in a permanent promotion.
"I am (interested in the job)," Guice said. "If I were not, I don't believe I would have come in. Since I've been here, it's pretty apparent I'm here for a reason.
"And that's a good thing."
Guice said he'll make only a few tweaks to the DMR if he's chosen to lead it. He also believes the agency could be out from under the cloud of a federal audit as early as February....
Guice doesn't see a need for wholesale changes at DMR, though.
"Being here this past couple of months has helped me realize some of the things I would tweak, some I wouldn't," he said. "If it's working right, why fix it? No need to reinvent the wheel.
"Most of what goes on down here is good stuff. Contrary to the articles that have appeared in the paper, most of these people are dedicated, highly trained folks and it's been hurtful to them to read some of this stuff. It's a good agency, it does good work and it's my goal to see that it continues to do that."
The preliminary audit report, in fact, focuses on the actions of just a few people at DMR, primarily Walker and Tina Shumate, the director of DMR's Coast Management and Planning Office. Guice said DMR just made its latest response to the audit by the Interior Department's Office of Inspector General." Article
A good thing for who? If there is one problem that has plagued DMR, it is incest. All the good ole boys from the Coast, where everyone knows everyone, making deals, stealing our money, slapping each other on the back, you get the idea. Now here comes another from the Coast who thinks he is entitled to the job. If there is anything the state should do, it is appoint an executive director who is not from the coast. But then again, this is Mississippi, most corrupt state in the union and last place in most categories.
"Only a few tweaks to the DMR"? That quote says it all right there.