A Harrison County supervisor has admitted he accepted cash bribes in exchange for his vote to award a company millions of dollars in contracts. MPB’s Evelina Burnett reports, it’s the latest in a string of public corruption cases afflicting the Magnolia state.
Harrison County supervisor Kim Savant faces up to five years in prison and as much as $250,000 in fines after pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy in federal court in Gulfport Tuesday. Savant resigned as supervisor earlier that day, saying in his resignation letter he "profoundly" regretted what he called his "recent error in judgement."
His attorney, Bill Kirksey, says Savant is relieved to have the plea hearing behind him.
"And we're just looking forward to March at the sentencing to see what occurs with the next part of his life," he says.
While a supervisor, Savant was also on the board of the Harrison County Utility Authority. He has admitted to taking $15-hundred dollars a month for 2 years in exchange for his vote to award utility authority contracts and other work.
Former utility authority director Kamran Pahlavan yesterday pled not guilty to a five-count indictment alleging he accepted bribes including cars and home repairs from a contractor named S.H. Anthony.
Assistant U.S Attorney Mike Hurst says the investigation is continuing.
"Corruption has afflicted our state for far too long," he says. "We will continue to vigorously pursue, investigate and prosecute public officials who violate the trust the public has given them."
Mississippi's corrections commissioner was indicted on corruption charges earlier this year. He has pled not guilty. The former head of the state Department of Marine Resources is currently in federal prison after pleading guilty in another corruption case.