Jackson developer David Watkins must pay restitution and fines - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Jackson developer David Watkins must pay restitution and fines

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

In a long, drawn out legal battle, the Mississippi Court of Appeals has ruled against high profile Jackson developer David Watkins.    

Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann said Thursday his office will immediately seek reimbursement of $587,000 and $75,000 in fines from Watkins.

The court ruled, in 2011, Watkins illegally diverted a portion of a $5 million bond which was to be used for partial renovation of the Belk building at MetroCenter. He purchased a building in Meridian. 

"This case will be one that our office will rely on in the future," said Hosemann. "it will rely on to make sure that everybody is straight up with what they do and what they say every time they ask somebody for money." 

The court says Watkins also broke state law by failing to disclose a $1.1 million fee he took for the Metrocenter work. The money will be returned to the 3 remaining partners in  RetroMetro, LLC.

When asked if he believed Watkins could repay the money, Hosemann replied, "I'm very hopeful.  We will find out."

Leroy Walker said the group will fulfill their obligation to finish out the project for the City of Jackson by borrowing $1.5 million to complete it.

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