Time to Put Duckworth Rumors to Bed | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Time to Put Duckworth Rumors to Bed

A JFP investigation is showing that those accusations were false.

You may have seen some of the back-and-forth over the last week between Othor Cain and me and others about accusations he made on Ben Allen's WLEZ-FM radio show, then on this Web site and on his own blog and WMPR radio show that downtown developer Ted Duckworth taking HUD money to put low-income housing in buildings he's developing, but not putting in the housing.

First, Cain said on Allen's show that Duckworth got a million-dollar grant to put low-incoming housing in The Electric Building, but hadn't done it. In fact, he got a HUD grant in exchange for job creation there and has to file quarterly reports about his efforts. After being challenged on that statement, Cain said on his WMPR show (in Charles Tisdale's old slot) that the HUD grant he meant was, in fact, for low-income housing in The Library, where Duckworth is putting in lofts. He said that Marshand Crisler was backing him up. Reached after the show, Crisler said by phone that he not know if that was true or not, that Cain had asked him that night about a Duckworth HUD housing grant and that he said it definitely was not the Electric Building, but *might* have been The Library, that he would have to check. Meantime, back on his blog, Cain attributes Crisler with confirming his Friday night statement.

In fact, Duckworth bought the old library outright with no grants awarded for its development; we got the paperwork on that today. However, he says he will apply for state and federal historic tax credits at the appropriate time.

The JFP has stayed on this thread of inaccuracy for one simple reason: We believe strongly in watchdogging developers, but we do not believe that spreading rumors and accusations without taking the time to factcheck is responsible. It is even worse when those rumors are swirled around the community and used to drive wedges between people who should be working together for the betterment of our city, job creation and economic development that will benefit us all.

We urge Othor Cain to publicly correct these statements and to contribute to an honest and fact-based dialogue about these issues in Jackson. There is enough to complain about and watchdog in this city without passing around incorrect statements about people who are investing money in the city.

Here's the thread that started this dialogue and controversy.

Previous Comments

ID
115980
Comment

Ted Duckworth is on WLEZ (103.7 FM or streaming at wlezfm.com) with Ben Allen right now.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-12-12T17:05:22-06:00
ID
115981
Comment

Duckworth just said that The Coffee Roastery is opening in The Electric Building soon. I knew this, but didn't know if it was public, yet. Cool.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-12-12T17:07:11-06:00
ID
115982
Comment

Listened to the entire hour as they talked about a myriad of development projects in downtown and elsewhere in Jackson. Did you hear them mention Farish Street even once? I didn't.

Author
GeoRoss
Date
2007-12-12T18:01:36-06:00
ID
115983
Comment

I didn't hear the whole thing: people in and out of my office. To be fair, Duckworth isn't doing a development on Farish, and I think they were mostly talking about his projects. But as I said, I didn't hear the whole thing, so I'm not sure. Maybe Ben will chime in here on it.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-12-12T23:31:47-06:00
ID
115984
Comment

No, they discussed far beyond only Duckworth's projects. That is my point. They talked about projects all over Jackson. From JSU mixed use to Entergy on I220 to the Mississippi School for the Blind and everything in between. They didn't mention Farish once. Wasn't on the radar. I did hear the whole thing so I am sure.

Author
GeoRoss
Date
2007-12-13T05:49:37-06:00
ID
115985
Comment

The Coffee Roastery coming downtown Jackson will be great, it has been a long time since the downtown air was filled with the aroma of fresh roasted coffee roasting. WHEN? EXCITED?

Author
onetwog
Date
2007-12-13T09:16:31-06:00
ID
115986
Comment

agreed on the scent of roasting coffee...whee hooooooooo!

Author
Izzy
Date
2007-12-13T10:43:09-06:00
ID
115987
Comment

Whatever happened to this? Did Cain ever prove his case against Duckworth or apologize? I lost track...

Author
gipper
Date
2008-01-16T23:20:19-06:00

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