BILOXI, Miss. (AP) - State records show the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources has given jobs to Executive Director Bill Walker's neighbors, his daughter-in-law, local politicians and relatives of other employees, according to a published report.
Walker tells The Sun Herald that contract workers save the agency money because there are no costs for health insurance and pensions.
Walker says they are at-will employees moved around to where they are needed and are paid for the hours they work.
The newspaper reports seven people from Walker's secluded neighborhood in Ocean Springs have received a total of more than $680,000 since June 2009 from contract jobs at MDMR.
Relatives of MDMR employees also work at the agency, although MDMR directors say the hirings comply with the agency's nepotism policy.
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