Former USDA Official Indicted

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

A federal grand jury has indicted Nick Walters, the former Mississippi USDA rural development director.

Walters is accused of having a personal interest in an agency loan he was pursuing for Natchez Regional Medical Center and for lying to federal officials about it.

A three-count felony indictment alleges Walters worked to get a U.S. Department of Agriculture community facilities loan for the publicly owned hospital at the same he had taken a job with a company that was representing the hospital on the loan application.

The USDA rural development director in each state is appointed by the White House. Walters left the government post on Aug. 4, 2006, to go into investment banking.

Walters' attorney, Andy Taggart of Madison, says Walters will show that he is not guilty of the charges. Taggart says he has asked Walters to make no comments on the case himself.

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