Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Steve Simpson, $409.87, and the dinner that never happened

Jerry Mitchell's got a story up today in the Clarion-Ledger detailing how Republican Attorney General nominee Steve Simpson billed the state for a "DPS Budget Priorities Meeting" with Sen. Billy Hewes, Rep. Bennett Malone, and Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney.

Why is this a big deal?  Because Simpson submitted his bill to the state so that he could be reimbursed for a $409.87 steak dinner at Miko's steakhouse in the Silverstar Casino.  And because the "DPS Budget Priorities Meeting" didn't happen.

When reached for comment, all three men who were supposed to be involved in this "budget meeting" said they weren't there.  From the story:
Malone, Hewes and Chaney all told The Clarion-Ledger they did not eat at Miko's with Simpson, nor did he pay for their meals.
Now think about that for a minute.  Steve Simpson billed the state for a meeting that never took place so that he could get reimbursement for a lavish dinner.  Let me introduce you to § 97-7-10 of the Mississippi Code of 1972:
(1) Whoever, with intent to defraud the state or any department, agency, office, board, commission, county, municipality or other subdivision of state or local government, knowingly and willfully falsifies, conceals or covers up by trick, scheme or device a material fact, or makes any false, fictitious or fraudulent statements or representations, or makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any false, fictitious or fraudulent statement or entry, shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine of not more than Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00) or by imprisonment for not more than five (5) years, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

(2) This section shall not prohibit the prosecution under any other criminal statute of the state.
 More to follow....

No comments: