FULTON — State Auditor Stacey Pickering he appeared before the Itawamba County Board of Supervisors with $197,963.55, recovered from Chancery Clerk Jim Witt’s bonding company.
Pickering and Auditor’s Office investigators were in Fulton Tuesday to announce recovery of the money and to file a document in the Itawamba County Chancery Court asking the court to order that the funds be deposited into a special account.
“We want the purchasers of land at tax sales who invested their money in good faith to know that these recovered funds will be handled by the Chancery Court,” Pickering said. “Mr. Witt is required by law to maintain records and settle funds collected for the redemption of delinquent taxes. The Auditor’s Office will continue to pursue funds from any bonds, insurance policies, or any person who owes money to the taxpayers of Itawamba County.”
In June 2014, Witt was served with a $503,000 demand from the Auditor’s Office. At the time, Pickering said Mr. Witt did not steal the money or personally benefit from it but he is responsible for the loss of money as the Chancery Clerk of Itawamba County.
Pickering said the funds presented to Itawamba County cover tax sales through January 2013. Investments made during the remainder of 2013, 2014, and thus far in 2015, should be pursued through the Chancery Clerk’s Office or the Itawamba County Chancery Court.
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