Locals write letters in support of Scott Walker
By Dwayne Bremer
Jul 25, 2014, 20:58
Several local citizens – including a Hancock County supervisor – wrote letters supporting former Congressional aid Scott Walker, who was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison this week for his role in a corruption scheme with the Department of Marine Resources.
Walker, who is the son of former DMR Director Bill Walker, formerly worked as a congressional aid for senators Trent Lott and Roger Wicker.
He became well known in Hancock County circles after Hurricane Katrina, while representing the two senators. Walker was sentenced on Wednesday, and on Thursday, a federal judge released letters written on his behalf to four local media groups which had filed motions to gain access to them.
The media groups were granted access to the letters, but ordered to not share them; only use them for their own news purposes; and destroy the letters once they were finished with them.
According to several media reports, Hancock County Supervisor Steve Seymour, his wife Beth, and local businessman Kirk Ladner were among 16 individuals who wrote letters on Walker's behalf.
Seymour said Friday that he has known Walker for years, including when he represented Lott and Wicker.
He also reportedly worked with Ladner and Walker in a company named Precision Marketing Group.
"In no way, shape, or form, do I agree with anything Scott did," Seymour said Friday. "It was just a letter for an old friend."
Political leaders and businessmen writing letters on behalf of a defendant is not unusual.
Whenever a defendant pleads guilty to a federal charge, the government conducts a pre-sentencing report on the defendant.
Part of the process allows the defendant to obtain letters of support from friends, family, and co-workers.
During the sentencing of former Hancock County Road Manager Roger Ladner in 2012, many local leaders, friends, and family wrote letters on Ladner's behalf.