ROLLING FORK — The mayor of a small town in the Mississippi Delta has been indicted on false pretense and wire fraud charges related to his construction company’s invoices for grants to rehabilitate houses, according to court records.
A Sharkey County grand jury charged Rolling Fork Mayor Eldridge “Butch” Walker in two separate indictments Monday, each containing one count of false pretense and one count of wire fraud, according to court records.
He did not immediately respond to phone messages on Tuesday. A message was not immediately returned by an attorney who authorities said was representing Walker.
The indictments say Walker sent two fraudulent invoices of more than $500 to the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas for construction work on two properties. The bank was issuing grants to rehabilitate houses, the indictments say.
The indictments said Walker was doing business as Walker Construction.
Marie Myles, the owner of one of the properties, told The Associated Press yesterday that Walker had done some work on the outside of her home in Rolling Fork, but she did not know details about the invoices he is charged with sending to the bank.
Angela Carpenter, an assistant district attorney, said Walker was arraigned yesterday in Warren County, where he pleaded not guilty and was released on $10,000 bond. Rolling Fork is in Sharkey County, but it’s part of the same judicial district as Warren County.
Rolling Fork’s attorney, Allen Woodard, said yesterday that city officials don’t yet have a statement on the matter, but were likely to discuss the indictments at the Rolling Fork Board of Alderman meeting later Tuesday.
Rolling Fork officials say Walker served as mayor in the past but was unseated in 2009. He was elected again in June.
Rolling Fork is a town of about 2,100 people, roughly 40 miles north of Vicksburg.