University of Southern Mississippi asks Professor / Chairman Vernon Asper to step down from Commission on Marine Resources

Chairman Vernon Asper has resigned from the  Mississippi Commission on Marine Resources, following a recommendation from his employer — the University of Southern Mississippi, where he has been a Professor of Marine Sciences for the past 27 years. “The university administration had become concerned that my continued service on the commission was becoming a liability to the university,” Asper said Wednesday morning. “They want to keep the university separate from this kind of controversy.” (Controversy? Like the IG’s final audit report on DMR?) The report also mentions conflicts of interest between Walker and his wife Sharon, who has been employed by two major subgrantees — the University of Southern Mississippi and the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies. Walker’s son, Scott, served on the board of trustees of the Nature Conservancy, which was the recipient of grants, another conflict of interest. DMR also used CIAP funds to purchase property owned by Scott Walker. This could get interesting! Chairman Vernon Asper steps down from Commission on Marine Resources (updated)

Inspector General’s final audit report on DMR cites numerous mismanagement issues (updated)