Lawmakers quiz MDA chief on consultants’ contracts

Published 9:13 pm Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Lawmakers are sharply questioning the Mississippi Development Authority’s contracts with private consultants, including one with Terri Hudson, who used to be the agency’s chief financial officer.

Rep. Cecil Brown said during a budget hearing Wednesday that he doesn’t understand why MDA would pay Hudson $240 an hour for a part-time contract to help oversee Hurricane Katrina recovery money.

Brown says that would be about $480,000 a year if Hudson were working full-time. Her state salary was about $125,000.

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MDA executive director Gray Swoope says Hudson was paid $89,000 last year. He says her expertise is valuable as the agency manages $5.4 billion in federal Katrina money because she helped develop recovery programs.

Hudson could not immediately be reached.