JACKSON - There are important, new revelations in the ever-growing Mississippi welfare scandal.
The Mississippi Free Press reports the state of Mississippi is using welfare money to chase after the welfare money it already lost in the scandal.
Mississippi Free Press reporter Ashton Pittman’s investigation shows the state has already used nearly 2 million dollars in money from the infamous TANF program to pay auditors and lawyers.
Confirmation comes from the state's own transparency website, which lists the money.... And it's source....from the welfare fund.
The money is supposed to be used as temporary assistance for needy families, but the state says and federal law apparently confirms, that money can sometimes pay for accounting and litigation services related to the program.
So, who's getting that money?
The New Orleans-based Jones Walker law firm has earned nearly 400-thousand dollars so far.... And recently was authorized for half a million more.
Even the fired lawyer originally hired to get the mis-spent welfare money back, got a payday. The state paid Brad Pigott's law firm more than 73-thousand dollars.
But the biggest payday according to the free press went to the Minneapolis-based accounting firm of Clifton Larson Allen which got nearly 1.5 million bucks for figuring out how much the state had lost.
Who's making all the noise about all this?
The same man who seems to be uncovering all the really juicy details to this drama.
Tupelo attorney Jim Waide said in a recent court filing that "filing a lawsuit alleging fraud is not among the 4 allowable purposes for the use of TANF funds".
Meantime, most of the parties who got this latest round of welfare money... Have anything to say about it.
The Free Press reports Pigott didn't respond for comment.
Jones walker says it doesn't comment on ongoing litigation.
And the state, speaking of the accountant's payment, called that payment "justified".
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