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
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.