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Ex-county administrator asks for trial reschedule, missed deadline

BATESVILLE — Former Panola County administrator David Chandler has asked a judge to give him more time to appeal his guilty plea to charges in an alleged kickback scheme at Tri-Lakes Medical Center in Batesville.

However, the deadline for Chandler to file an appeal passed two weeks ago.

The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reports Chandler’s attorney says new court documents that Chandler has been severely depressed and humiliated since his guilty plea.

During this depression, Chandler “completely lost sight of his control over the need for his decision to appeal his sentence within the required time to file a notice of appeal,” his attorney, Hiram Eastland writes in the motion.

“Mr. Chandler actually did not even remember being advised of his right to appeal his sentence by the court” or again by his attorneys after he was sentenced in February, Eastland wrote.

U.S. District Judge Sharion Aycock has not ruled on the motion.

Chandler, 58, pleaded guilty in 2011 to two federal counts that he defrauded the county in a garbage collection scheme and embezzled by paying himself overtime when he didn’t work it.

Aycock sentenced him to 14 months in prison.

Chandler was Panola County administrator and a former board chairman of the local hospital when he was indicted.

His deal for the plea bargain apparently was to cooperate and testify against two men, accused in a bribery-kickback scheme at Tri-Lakes Medical Center in Batesville. Federal prosecutors said Chandler acted as a middleman for kickbacks.

Because of Chandler’s “extraordinary cooperation,” against Shoemaker and Garner, Eastland writes, he urges the court to allow him to file the notice of appeal the two weeks after the March 29 deadline.

Chandler is due to report to prison in Yazoo City on April 22.


Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal


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