Billboards brag that husband has repaid stolen public money

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OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi woman has rented billboards to brag that her husband has repaid money he was convicted of stealing in public corruption cases.

Trinity Walker paid for the message on three billboards along a busy stretch of U.S. Highway 90 in Ocean Springs, the Sun Herald reported.

Each billboard shows a large photo of her smiling husband, Scott Walker, next to the message: “Over $325,000 in restitution paid in FULL in only 3 years!”

Scott Walker and his father, Bill Walker, served prison time after they were convicted of stealing federal money that Bill Walker controlled while he was executive director of the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources. A nonprofit organization received the money from the state agency to buy some land that Scott Walker owned.

Scott Walker — who previously ran for mayor of Ocean Springs — was convicted in a separate case of defrauding the city of D’Iberville.

He owed $390,000 in restitution.

Trinity Walker told WLOX-TV that she and her husband sold three homes and paid his restitution “in an extremely quick timeframe.”

“You’ll never read this in any newspaper article so I felt this was an effective way to have the truth told,” she said. “We are so happy this chapter in our life is behind us.”

The billboards appeared in Ocean Springs days after U.S. District Judge Keith Starrett chastised Scott Walker for spending his parents’ money on “extravagant” expenses even as Bill Walker has fallen behind on restitution payments. Bill Walker’s attorney said his client, now 75, has memory problems.

Starrett ruled that Bill Walker will spend 30 days in jail unless he pays $16,500 in restitution by Jan. 1.

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