MDOT Executive Director Refutes Accusations of Undue Influence on Road Project
Lt. Gov. Reeves responds to Attorney General’s request

From:  News Release   7/27/18   GCN

JACKSON – Melinda McGrath, Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Transportation, states she did not say she had any “inappropriate” communication with a member of the Legislature on a frontage road project in Rankin County in a letter received by Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves Wednesday.

 “... I have never indicated any inappropriate, unacceptable, or unlawful communication with a member of the Legislature...,” she wrote.

She goes on to say her definition of political pressure is “any legislative prioritization mandate” and points to an appropriations bill passed in 2014.

“When duly elected representatives of the people perform their constitutional responsibility of appropriating funds that is not political pressure it is the enacted law of the land in our state,” Lt. Gov. Reeves said.

In addition, two independent reviews of electronic legislative communication of the Office of the Lieutenant Governor did not find any records between the office and the Mississippi Department of Transportation regarding a frontage road project in Rankin County.

Lt. Gov. Reeves informed the Office of the Attorney General of the findings today.

“To be clear, I have been advised by Counsel that your informal document requests that were included in your document preservation letter create no legal obligation on the Senate, my office or any individual Senators to produce such documents,” Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves wrote in his response. “However I, like you, want to resolve any outstanding questions about the project for the public’s interest, and therefore, I am voluntarily responding to your request.”