BREAKING NEWS: The DC Police Project Petition.

Speaking Truth to Power:

Who are the DJP decision makers and what roles have they played?
By Alice Thomas-Tisdale

Jackson Advocate Publisher

Part IV During the fi rst three parts of this series, I informed our readers about Linda Brune’s problems. She registered as a whistleblower with the Mississippi Attorney General’s (MAG) office.

Brune claims she was fi red from her job as Ben Allen’s assistant because she is cooperating with MAG’s investigation of Downtown Jackson Partners (DJP). Reportedly, MAG is investigating Allen’s and DJP’s use of public funds. Allen is DJP’s president.

Brune reports she is fearful for her personal safety. She alleges Allen recently attempted to run over her with his car.

Allen’s conduct as DJP’s president is subject to review by DJP’s Board. The Chairman of the DJP Board is David Watkins.

The headline of Ted Carter’s article, published in the October 23, 2013, edition of the Mississippi Business Journal, reads: “Banished from Farish St., Watkins named chair of Downtown Jackson Partners”. Reportedly, Watkins encountered major problems while working to transform Farish Street into an entertainment district.

Lawsuits have been fi led, involving questions relating to the alleged expenditure of millions of dollars. Apparently, some thought Watkins left that project in such a mess a lawyer was directed to send a letter advising Watkins that his unauthorized entry on Farish Street properties “will be deemed to be trespassing.”

The headline of Tyler Cleveland’s article, published in the November 6, 2013, edition of the Jackson Free Press, reads: “Watkins Fighting on Two Fronts”. Cleveland reports that one of these fronts is Watkins “challenging allegations that he committed securities fraud, which are currently under investigation by the Mississippi secretary of state’s office.”

Watkins lost that battle. On March 24, 2014, the Mississippi Secretary of State (MSOS) published a press release stating that an order was issued requiring restitution in the amount of $587,084, plus legal interest and a civil penalty of $75,000. MSOS reported that “Watkins Development, LLC and David Watkins are also ordered to pay administrative See Brune on 14A

Regonal Jones was all smiles after receiving a kiss from his wife, Tonya. The happy couple celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary with renewal of vows on Aug. 30th at the Agriculture Museum in Jackson, MS. The theme of the celebration was “We Still Do”. Regonal works with Nissan and Tonya works at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. (Photo: Abram “Huck” Jones)

Jackson City Council confirms Trivia Jones as director of Dept. of Finance & Administration

JANS– The Jackson City Council on Tuesday, Sept. 2, unanimously confi rmed Trivia Fulgham Jones as director of the Department of Finance and Administration. Jones succeeds Lee Unger, who retired last month.

“Jones is an experienced accounting professional who has the vision to move the department forward,” said Mayor Tony Yarber.

Jones has 15 years of diverse accounting experience in both the public and private sector. She earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Accounting from Jackson State University. She earned a Master of Accountancy degree from Millsaps College’s Else School of Management.

“It is my goal to help Jackson position itself for the future. Under my leadership, we will move to a multiyear, priority-based budgeting process,” Jones said during her confirmation hearing at City Hall. Tuesday’s vote was 4–0.

JSU academics, public safety top list of Renick and Horton

JANS – Lindsey Horton, Jackson’s former police chief, joined Jackson State University’s leadership team Aug. 29 to oversee safety efforts across all of the university’s locations. “Horton’s appointment is part of an organizational adjust- ment necessitated by JSU’s growth in enrollment, programs and venues,” JSU President Carolyn Meyers said.

The president also announced that James C. Renick, provost and vice president for academic and tudent
affairs, has been given additional responsibilities and a new title.

Renick, who has served in numerous faculty and academic leadership roles, including two presidencies, is now senior vice president and provost. He will be “the fi rst among equals” in the executive cabinet. Earlier this year, Meyers merged the Division of Student Life into the Division of Academic Affairs.

“This adjustment reinforces the centrality of academics in all that JSU does and formally alerts the entire community, internal and external, that going forward, this centrality of focus will continue at JSU,” Meyers said of Renick’s new title and duties. Horton, who has served in various other roles during his 30 years at the Jackson Police Department, will be JSU’s associate vice president for safety and security. He will report to the vice president for business fi nance and oversee the Public Safety Department.

“I grew up just South of the campus, almost on the campus,” said Horton,
See JSU on 14A

Nobody doubted that Dr. Jimmie James, Jr., former Chair of Jackson State University Department of Music, will forever be remembered for his contributions to the University over a span of 43 years. However, it was made official on Aug. 29 with the dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony for the Dr. Jimmie James Jr. Recital Hall. (Photo: Abram “Huck” Jones)

Hail Mary was full of grace last Saturday as DeSuan McKenzie made the game winning catch against FAMU. The final score was 22–17. JSU takes on Virginia University of Lynchburg Dragons at Memorial Stadium Sept. 6 at 6 p.m.

Rev. Jerry Young, Pastor, New Hope Baptist Church in Jackson, Miss., was elected Thursday to a five-year term as President of the National Baptist Convention. Rev. Young, who was convention vice president, beat four others to lead the country’s largest black religious group.

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