Pickering: Union County deaths went uninvestigated while coroner hauled in huge sums

September 12, 2013

Legal Affairs, Politics

JACKSON, Mississippi – State Auditor Stacy Pickering has ordered former Union County coroner Mark Golding to pay the state $398,418 for work he never performed.

Pickering says $278,591 of the total is in false claims Golding submitted to Union County supervisors for deaths he did not investigate.

The Auditor’s Office says it began an investigation on Golding on May 28 and later concluded he had been raking in huge dollars for work he did not do.

In addition to submitting false claims, Golden reported to the Union County payments to the Mississippi Public Employment Retirement System (PERS), thereby inflating his future benefits. Golding resigned as coroner on June 6. An order was issued in Union County Circuit Court on Aug. 26 freezing Golding’s retirement account.

“The civil demand issued by my office today represents the initial step to recover funds that were misappropriated,” said Pickering. “During the 90-day freeze, we intend to work with PERS to reduce these inappropriate wages and return to Union County the employer funds paid into PERS by the taxpayers.”

Pickering did not say in his press statement whether the state will seek criminal charges against Golden.

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