Stay up-to-date on what’s in the news with the Y’all Politics Daily Roundup.
YP – Auditor Arrests Woman Accused of Stealing from Needy School children
On Monday, State Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from his office have arrested Carol Jackson in Sunflower County after she was indicted for fraud. She was issued a $109,124.59 demand letter upon her arrest. The demand amount includes interest and investigative expenses.
“We will hold the line when someone steals any taxpayer funds, but we are even more motivated when someone steals money intended for children,” said Auditor White. “Thank you to the investigators who worked tirelessly on this case.”
If convicted, Jackson faces up to 5 years in prison and $10,000 in fines. All persons arrested by the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. District Attorney W. Dewayne Richardson’s office will prosecute the case.
MSDH COVID-19 Reporting
Today MSDH is reporting 3,323 more cases of COVID-19 in Mississippi, 67 deaths, and 172 ongoing outbreaks in long-term care facilities. State #covid19 totals: 392,309 cases, 7,880 deaths, and 1,083,731 persons fully vaccinated. Full information: https://t.co/YCv9xPyJDk pic.twitter.com/asdbrAcUFA
— MS Dept of Health (@msdh) August 17, 2021
YP – What does the Mississippi Public Utilities Staff do? Exec. Director Sally Doty tells us
Sally Burchfield Doty, Executive Director of the Public Utilities Staff in Mississippi, joined Y’all Politics on Tuesday to discuss the role the PUS plays in terms of balancing regulation of utility companies and the interests of the ratepayers. She and the PUS staff provide recommendations to the Public Service Commission where those elected Commissioners then act.
YP – Hyde-Smith, Colleagues demand answers on IRS treatment of religious nonprofit seeking tax-exemption status
On Monday, U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) along with several of her colleagues sent a letter asking the U.S. Treasury Department on how the Internal Revenue Service handles tax-exempt status applications from religious organizations.
The letter addressed to Treasury Inspector General J. Russell George requests a review of IRS processes for making tax-exempt status determinations, and the apparent failure of agency quality controls in the case of Christians Engaged, a nonprofit religious organization.
“Nevertheless, recent events surrounding the determination of tax-exempt status of Christians Engaged has focused our attention on the processes and procedures the IRS uses when determining whether a religious organization should be granted tax-exempt status, while simultaneously generating broad concern over the standard of the IRS’s neutral and respectful consideration of such applications,” the Senators wrote.
You can read the letter here.
YP – UMMC officials join with others to discuss new field hospital for adults at Jackson campus
On Tuesday, leaders from the University of Mississippi Medical Center, Samaritan’s Purse, the Mississippi Department of Health as well as the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency discussed the opening of a field hospital for adult patients inside the parking garage adjacent to the Kathy and Joe Sanderson Tower at Children’s of Mississippi in Jackson.
WJTV – Allegations led to MDA director John Rounsaville’s resignation
Mississippi Development Authority Director John Rounsaville’s announced resignation on Aug. 13 came after a state investigation into reports he sexually harassed and touched three subordinate female MDA employees at a Biloxi bar during a business conference in July, sources familiar with the investigation and incident told Mississippi Today.
Gov. Tate Reeves, who appointed Rounsaville to the post in January, announced in an Aug. 13 press release that Rounsaville would be “stepping down to pursue new opportunity” effective Aug. 31 and praised Rounsaville’s “leadership at MDA.” The release quoted Rounsaville saying he wanted to spend more time with his wife and children and less time traveling.
When asked for comment, Rounsaville on Tuesday sent Mississippi Today a written statement: “I didn’t live up to my own standards or MDA’s standards. My behavior was not reflective of my character. I deeply regret that, and I apologize to everyone involved. I believed voluntarily resigning was the appropriate consequence. And, it was my hope to save MDA, my colleagues, and my family further embarrassment by doing so.”
Statement from Governor Reeves on MDA Executive Director Rounsaville’s Resignation
Gov. Reeves releases statement on the resignation of Mississippi Development Authority Director John Rounsaville.
MDA Executive Director John Rounsaville’s resignation was tendered on
August 13th following an investigation into his conduct. He is removed from day-to-day
operations of the Agency and on administrative leave until the end of the month.
The Governor follows state law and State Personnel Board rules which direct that in any matter such as this, an investigation be conducted by a professional, independent third party. If such an investigation is completed and the recommendation calls for the resignation of a public official, the Governor will accept it or he would demand it if necessary. After a thorough review of the facts of this case, he allowed the director to resign.
Read the statement here.
Senator Wicker shows continued support for the bipartisan infrastructure bill
The bipartisan infrastructure bill will pave the way for economic growth in Mississippi by investing in roads, bridges, ports, rail, & broadband. #WickerReport
— Senator Roger Wicker (@SenatorWicker) August 17, 2021