State Rep. David Baria, D-Waveland, wants to convene a legislative panel to look at the charges against Epps, who was indicted along with former lobbyist Cecil McCrory last week on 49 counts involving an alleged bribery and kickback scheme, as well as Epps’ reappointments to head MDOC.

Baria believes the MDOC scandal represents systemic corruption throughout state government, pointing to the 2013 Department of Marine Resources scandal that resulted in multiple federal convictions of former DMR officials. Baria also took direct aim at Republicans in his criticisms.

“At a time when we are told by Republican leadership that the state does not have the money to adequately fund education and ensure that working-class Mississippians have access to healthcare, there never seems to be a shortage of funds to enrich those who feed at the trough of state government,” Baria said.

Gov. Phil Bryant has said he would appoint a special task force to review MDOC’s contracts and has ordered the agency to terminate agreements with one McCrory-affiliated company, Adminpros LLC.

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