Former Harrison County Supervisor Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Bribery
GULFPORT, MS—Harrison County Supervisor Kim Savant, 65, of Gulfport, pled guilty today in U.S. District Court to conspiracy to commit bribery in connection with his role as a board member of the Harrison County Utility Authority, announced U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Davis, FBI Special Agent in Charge Donald Alway, and Acting Special Agent in Charge Jerome R. McDuffie with IRS Criminal Investigation.
A criminal Bill of Information was filed against Savant on November 14, 2014, charging him with conspiracy to commit bribery, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, a $250,000.00 fine, and up to three years of supervised release. He will be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Sul Ozerden on March 26, 2015 at 9:00 a.m.
From January, 2011, through January, 2013, Savant was a Supervisor for Harrison County, Mississippi, and was a member of the board of the Harrison County Utility Authority (“HCUA”). The HCUA was responsible for managing water, wastewater, storm water and solid waste services in Harrison County, among other things. During this period of time, Savant conspired with another person to commit bribery, that is, Savant performed official actions such as voting for the awarding of HCUA contracts, payments, emergency work and other work worth millions of dollars to a particular company in exchange for Savant receiving $1,500.00 cash per month from a representative of that company.
“When public officials turn to financial gain in exchange for official acts, we will prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law,” said U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Davis. “Public corruption, particularly among our elected officials, undermines the public’s confidence in our system of government. I thank the Assistant U.S. Attorneys, FBI, and IRS—Criminal Investigation for their efforts in the investigation and prosecution of this case.”
Jerome R. McDuffie, Acting Special Agent in Charge, IRS – Criminal Investigation, stated: “All those entrusted to serve the public, whether appointed or elected, should be held to the very highest standards of fiscal responsibility and integrity. It is vitally important that federal funds go toward their intended use and the execution of the mission-critical business. IRS—Criminal Investigation will continue to work with our law enforcement partners in the investigation and potential prosecution of individuals involved in program fraud and the misuse of public monies.”
This case was investigated by the FBI and the IRS—Criminal Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst is prosecuting the case.