Two DMR public relations workers let go

dharris@sunherald.comMay 11, 2013 

BILOXI -- Two more employees will be leaving the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources.

Susan Perkins, who was named to head the public relations department in late January, was told Friday her job would be eliminated.

Trinity Walker, the only non-management employee in Perkins' department, was also let go.

"I did not resign," Perkins said. "My understanding is that my position is being eliminated because the public affairs bureau is being restructured."

Walker, daughter-in-law of former DMR Director Bill Walker, is a special projects officer in Perkins' office.

"I want to confirm to you that I was told by Director (Jamie) Miller that my last day at the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources will be June 30, 2013," she said in a statement to the Sun Herald on Saturday. "I'm not sure why this decision was made as I have worked as hard as any other DMR employee over the past nine months and I feel that I have done very good work. I have done everything asked of me and more.

"I will miss my co-workers and working for the State of Mississippi very much."

When contacted Saturday by the Sun Herald, Miller said he could not comment on personnel issues.

Perkins was moved from DMR's Coast Management and Planning office in late January to take over as director of the public relations department. She replaced Lauren Thompson, who was reassigned as manager of public relations.

Perkins has worked for the DMR for 13 years. Her last day will be June 15.

The CPA firm Horne LLP is in conducting a 60-day review of the agency's finances, structure, staffing, work flow and government program compliance.

The firm will be paid no more than $150,000 under its contract.

The deal with Horne includes a communications element, which will be handled by Frontier Gulf Coast, a Mississippi company that does political consulting, public relations and advertising, among other jobs.

The company will help communicate the work Horne is doing in a manner the agency's employees and the public can understand, Miller told the Sun Herald on May 1.

It will be paid by Horne under the deal.

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