Vicksburg agrees to restructure city government

Vicksburg’s Board of Aldermen approved a resolution Monday that will restructure city government in a manner proposed by Mayor George Flaggs Jr., The Vicksburg Post reported. Flaggs’ proposal to amend the city’s 105-year-old charter had undergone more than two years of debate, arguments and attempts at compromise. “I feel relieved, now that all the work we put in is not in vain, and I think it’s the most progressive thing that ever happened to this city,” Flaggs said. “I intend to restructure and reorganize this city so that we can have more day-to-day oversight and accountability, and I hope that translates in to saving dollars.”
Flaggs said he believes about $1.5 million could be saved through restructuring the city government. The board voted Monday to put Flagg’s amendments on the board’s minutes, signalling their approval.

Hood sues to recoup $800 million in prison scandal funds

Attorney General Jim Hood will sue 25 companies and individuals he says illegally profited from a Mississippi prison bribery and kickback scheme. In all, Hood has filed 11 civil RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) lawsuits against entities that he says “defrauded” Mississippians “through a pattern of bribery, kickbacks, misrepresentations, fraud, concealment, money laundering and other wrongful conduct.” “These individuals and corporations that benefited by stealing from taxpayers must not only pay the state’s losses, but state law requires that they must also forfeit and return the entire amount of the contracts paid by the state. We are also seeking punitive damages to punish these conspirators and to deter those who might consider giving or receiving kickbacks in the future,” Hood said. In 2014, the federal government indicted Christopher Epps, then the commissioner of the state prison system, charging him with orchestrated a bribery scheme for contracts with the Mississippi Department of Corrections.