Home » NEWS » Govt/Politics » Repayment demands in Neshoba overtime pay scheme exceed $1 million

Repayment demands in Neshoba overtime pay scheme exceed $1 million

Former Neshoba County Administrator Benjie Coats is the latest fired Neshoba official the Mississippi’s State Auditor’s Office has ordered to repay money relating to hundreds of thousands of dollars paid out in an alleged overtime pay scheme.

Coats and three other former county officials have been indicted in what prosecutors say was a scheme to bill the county for more than 30,000 hours of overtime never worked.

State Auditor Stacy Pickering has demanded Coats repay $39,341 it says he gained through the overtime fraud. A grand jury indicted Coats on one count of fraud in September.

In total, the Auditor’s Office has demanded repayment of more than $1 million relating to the alleged scheme.

Pickering says Coats was at the center of an investigation by his office into an apparent overtime pay scheme. The individuals submitted more than 30,000 hours of overtime pay for which they did not work, the Auditor’s Office claims.

Indicted on seven counts of fraud each earlier this year were Tommy Gomillion, former Neshoba County payroll clerk; Julie Faye Russell, former Neshoba purchasing clerk; and Jill Watkins, former Neshoba comptroller. Pickering has ordered repaying of more than $1.3 million from the former officials.

“These individuals took advantage of the taxpayers of Neshoba County and created a scheme to defraud the local taxpayers of over $1 million,” Pickering said. “Their employment has already been terminated by the county, and our office will continue to work diligently to recover these funds through restitution and their bond.”



… we’d like to ask for your support. More people are reading the Mississippi Business Journal than ever before, but advertising revenues for all conventional media are falling fast. Unlike many, we do not use a pay wall, because we want to continue providing Mississippi’s most comprehensive business news each and every day. But that takes time, money and hard work. We do it because it is important to us … and equally important to you, if you value the flow of trustworthy news and information which have always kept America strong and free for more than 200 years.

If those who read our content will help fund it, we can continue to bring you the very best in news and information. Please consider joining us as a valued member, or if you prefer, make a one-time contribution.

Click for more info

About Ted Carter

One comment

  1. yes such strict laws should be implemented so that the tax payers money does the right job its intended to do

Leave a Reply