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DOJ: Bay St. Louis federal forfeitures fund was mishandled

BAY ST. LOUIS — The U.S. Department of Justice has found several violations in Bay St. Louis’ handling of a federal forfeitures fund.

The Sun Herald reports Bay St. Louis Mayor Les Fillingame’s administration released a letter Tuesday sent by the DOJ that contains preliminary findings regarding the city’s police department’s federal equitable sharing fund. The fund holds forfeiture money shared and regulated by the DOJ.

The DOJ says it froze the fund Nov. 2 and orders the city to perform several corrective actions.

According to federal documents, the fund had a reported balance of $298,108 at the end of fiscal year 2014. City Council members noticed that sum missing in August and called for authorities to investigate.

At an August 18 meeting, Fillingame said the money had been placed in the city’s general operating account.

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