- Associated Press - Thursday, January 23, 2014

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Gulf Coast lawmakers have filed a bill to reorganize the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources.

The agency was shaken by financial problems that led to the January 2013 firing of Bill Walker, who’d been executive director since 2002. Walker, two other former department employees and Walker’s son were indicted in November on federal corruption charges involving hundreds of thousands of dollars in public money.

Sen. Brice Wiggins of Pascagoula, chief sponsor of the reorganization proposal, said Thursday that Senate Bill 2579 would mandate some changes already started by the current MDMR director, Jamie Miller.

The bill would require the department to perform a yearly audit. It would set education and work experience requirements for those hired in top administrative jobs. It also would give lawmakers some oversight of the department.

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