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Tag Archives: audit

Auditor returns nearly $100K to county following investigation

IUKA — State Auditor Stacey Pickering has returned $92,583.71 to the Tishomingo County Board of Supervisors following an investigation into former Chancery Clerk Hayden Ables’ misappropriation of public funds. The Auditor’s Office found that Ables used his position as chancery clerk to obtain personal benefit for services he did not perform. Ables submitted false documentation to the Tishomingo County Board ...

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City faces retroactive fines for Clean Water Act violations

STARKVILLE — The city of Starkville faces retroactive fines due to past overflow incidents involving its sanitary sewage system. The Commercial Dispatch reports public works director Doug Devlin did not have a fine estimate for aldermen, but did say a scheduled March conference call with Environmental Protection Agency regulators could shed light on the penalties associated with the Clean Water ...

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Interim agency director cannot account for $4M

BILOXI — The interim director of the state Department of Marine Resources says he cannot account for about $4 million in state Tidelands money spent over the past decade. But Danny Guice told the Sun Herald he is not calling the money missing. He said it appears the money was spent on projects. “I’ve never suggested there was any wrongdoing,” ...

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Auditor says he can't approve education program

JACKSON — Mississippi Auditor Stacey Pickering is calling on lawmakers to write new, stricter rules on computing how much state money goes to local schools. The Republican told the House Appropriations Committee he can’t approve the Mississippi Adequate Education Program formula, as required by law, because his office has found unreliable numbers on attendance, students receiving free lunch and other ...

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Auditor subpoenas financial accounts of state agency

BILOXI — The State Auditor’s Office has served a subpoena for access to two key Mississippi Department of Marine Resources’ financial accounts. That’s according to a published report. Assistant Attorney General Sandy Chesnut tells The Sun Herald the auditor wants record from an account that holds disaster-relief money and from the Rigs to Reefs account. The Sun Herald says it ...

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Audit finds questionable bidding processes at DMR

BILOXI — A preliminary audit by federal authorities says the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources may have skirted laws requiring competitive bidding in awarding more than $600,000 in contracts and an additional $116,000 to a consultant. The Sun Herald reports the U.S. Interior Department’s Office of Inspector General’s preliminary audit questions DMR’s dealings with Barber & Mann Inc. of Ridgeland. ...

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Pickering returns funds misused by supervisor to county

LEAKESVILLE — State Auditor Stacey Pickering has returned $70,280.72 to Greene County following an investigation into supervisors’ misuse of funds used as part of an illegal kickback scheme carried out through a contract for Katrina debris removal and legal expenses. These funds represent $64,030.72 in principal and $2,146.08 in interest and investigative costs. Pickering previously returned over $18,000.00 to Greene ...

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Auditor's Office closes embezzlement investigation

BROOKHAVEN — Mississippi Auditor Stacey Pickering has closed his office’s investigation into embezzlement by a former Lincoln County Circuit Clerk. Pickering last week delivered a check for more than $61,000 to Lincoln County Supervisors. The Brookhaven Daily Leader reports the check represents the last of the money the auditor’s office says Terry Lynn Watkins had failed to turn over to ...

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Auditors looking at possible sweetheart deals at DMR

BILOXI — Federal auditors question $12.6 million of $14 million approved by the state Department of Marine Resources to buy and conserve coastal property using money from offshore oil leases. DMR paid 16 times the county tax appraisals for some land, and 25 times the amount on county tax rolls for one parcel, auditors from the U.S. Interior Department’s Office ...

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