The Associated Press
JACKSON, Miss. —
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.