Watkins Appeals Secretary of State's Order

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Jackson, Miss.

A Jackson developer has appealed to Hinds County Chancery Court an order from Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann that he pay $680,000 in fines related to the alleged misuse of bond money.

Attorneys for David Watkins filed the lawsuit Thursday, according to a news release.

Hosemann imposed the penalties in March. Hosemann alleged Watkins took funds from a mall project and diverted it to a project to build a new police station in Meridian.

Watkins' attorneys argue the developer is charged with violations that were not alleged until after last fall's hearing at the secretary of state's office.

Hosemann says Watkins diverted about a half million dollars in bond proceeds for the Metrocenter Mall project in Jackson to close the deal on the police station project.