Meridian Star

Local News

November 1, 2013

State looking into MPD station developer

MERIDIAN —     JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The secretary of state's office is questioning whether Jackson developer David Watkins took funds from a mall project and diverted it to a project to build a new police station in Meridian.

    Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann is seeking administrative penalties plus restitution of $587,084.

    Watkins denied any wrongdoing during an administrative hearing that ended this week before an administrative officer at the secretary of state's office.

    In a legal notice, Hosemann says Watkins Development diverted about a half million dollars in bond proceeds for the Metrocenter Mall project in Jackson to close the deal on the police station project.

    Watkins' attorneys have acknowledged he moved the money from a Retro Metro bank account that was set up for the mall redevelopment to the law enforcement project in Meridian.

    Records show Watkins formed Retro Metro LLC in August 2010 to renovate the former Belk building in Metrocenter Mall in west Jackson.

    At the same time he formed Meridian Law Enforcement Center LLC, in Meridian in April 2011 to redevelop a building in Meridian into a new police station at an estimated cost of $9.2 million. The Meridian Star reported then that the project was being financed through Watkins Development LLC and Citizens National Bank in Meridian.

    Watkins moved over half a million dollars directly from Retro Metro LLC's account on April 12, 2011, into the account of Meridian Law Enforcement Center LLC while he was a manager of both companies. Hosemann wants that money returned to the Retro Metro account.

    In recent weeks, the Jackson Redevelopment Authority fired Watkins from the Farish Street Entertainment District project, and Watkins and the JRA are suing each other over the controversy.

1
Text Only
Local News
Facebook
Helium debate
Helium
Twitter Updates
AP Video
Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide