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Execs plead guilty to illegal Musgrove donations

  Business  -   POSTED: 2008/08/14 14:04

Two businessmen involved with a failed $55 million beef plant pleaded guilty this week to illegally contributing to a past campaign by a Democrat now in a tight U.S. Senate race.

Former Mississippi Gov. Ronnie Musgrove, who is running for the seat vacated by Republican Trent Lott, has not been charged and says he did nothing wrong, but Republicans quickly seized the opportunity to slam him for taking the money.

Robert Moultrie and Nixon Cawood Jr., executives with The Facility Group of Smyrna, Ga., pleaded guilty to giving Musgrove an illegal $25,000 "gratuity" during his 2003 gubernatorial re-election campaign. Musgrove lost the race to Republican Haley Barbour.

The Facility Group managed construction of Mississippi Beef Processors LLC, a cattle plant that closed just three months after it opened in 2004, costing 400 jobs and sticking Mississippi taxpayers with $55 million in state-backed loans.


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