MS Department of Corrections Task Force meets - - Jackson, MS

MS Department of Corrections Task Force meets

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - The MDOC Task Force met Friday to begin developing a plan to review contracts that were apart of the 49 count indictment involving former MDOC Commissioner Chris Epps.

"The entire contract which is the front and back of a single piece of paper that has generated millions and millions of dollars in revenue for the holder of that contract," said Task Force Co-Chair Andy Taggart.

This is just one of the many documents the Mississippi Department of Corrections Task Force will oversee and review following the illegal mess former MDOC Commissioner Chris Epps is being accused of creating.

Governor Bryant issued an executive order creating this task force to oversee the MDOC contracts review as well as the re-bidding process listed in the 49 count indictment against Epps.

"What they can do is tell me the exact bold facts of what has taken place at the department of corrections. What took place with the contracts, the single sources for example previously that has brought us to this point," said Governor Bryant. "I want them to review everything."

Governor Bryant says the goal is to look over the contracts and ensure they were legally drawn and were in the best interest of the taxpayers.

"I think you are going to hear some of the contracts at MDOC that we don't need. That we could absolutely live without," added Governor Bryant. "But, again if that is occurring here, how many more agencies are there contracts are there that we might not need? I think we have to start asking some hard questions about contracts, single source contracts, professional service contracts."

So, how long will it take for the task force to form concrete recommendations? Co-Chair Andy Taggart says in January he hopes to give a report to the governor, then have some type of framework for the governor and legislature mid-session.
Epps is accused of receiving nearly one million dollars in bribes.
Here's a timeline of what has happened up until now.

November 5th -- Epps resigns amid a federal investigation.
November 6th -- Epps and Rankin County businessman Cecil McCrory are indicted on fraud and bribery charges.
November 7th -- Governor Phil Bryant assigns a task force to oversee the review of MDOC contracts.
And yesterday, Epps' attorney John Colette requests the January 5th trial be pushed back to allow more time to review evidence.

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