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State Auditor Releases FY2014 Exceptions Report

Today, State Auditor Stacey Pickering announced the release of the Fiscal Year 2014 Audit Exception Report. This report is a legally mandated account of all misappropriated or misspent public funds and the actions taken by the State Auditor’s Office for recovery and return of those funds to the appropriate entities for FY 2014. An audit “exception” indicates that a violation of the law or an accounting error resulted in public funds being misappropriated or spent incorrectly. The term also refers to money that must be repaid. “The Office of the State Auditor continues to serve as a watchdog organization to… Read More

WTVA: Alcorn County purchasing clerk under arrest

CORINTH, Miss. (WTVA) — The Alcorn County purchasing clerk has been arrested on a complaint filed by the state auditor’s office. Stacey Pickering tells William Paul Rhodes, 54, was arrested by investigators with his office Thursday morning. He is charged with obstruction of justice and is being held on a $10,000 bond. Pickering says representatives from his office spent Tuesday in the offices of the Alcorn County Board of Supervisors going through files and computer records. In a meeting Thursday night, Pickering told Alcorn County Supervisors that this is just the “tip of the iceberg.” Pickering says Rhodes snapped… Read More

WCBI: Itawamba County Chancery Clerk Ordered to Repay More than $500,000

ITAWAMBA COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) — The state is ordering Itawamba County Chancery Clerk Jim Witt to repay more than $500,000. State Auditor Stacey Pickering said Witt didn’t steal the money, instead he is accused of bad bookkeeping. Pickering said the money was lost from those who bought property through delinquent tax sales, and the funds were never put back when the land was redeemed by original owners. Witt has 30 days to repay more than $503,000. If he doesn’t pay it back, the state will pursue civil charges to recover the funds. “At the end of the day, we had… Read More

WTVA: Itawamba Chanery Clerk ordered to pay back funds

FULTON, Miss. (WTVA)– From August 2007 to December 2012 the Itawamba County Chancery Clerk’s office failed to settle money that was collected for redemption of delinquent taxes in a timely manner, according to State Auditor Stacey Pickering. ”This is money that has been misapproriated. It’s not been stolen or embezzled. But, it basically is the result of bad bookeeping over the years,” said Pickering during a news conference in Tupelo. Pickering says this was money lost to individuals who purchased property through tax sales. He says that money never paid back to those people once the original owners bought back… Read More

Itawamba County Chancery Clerk Issued Demand For Over $500,000

TUPELO, Miss. – State Auditor Stacey Pickering announced that Itawamba County Chancery Clerk Jim Witt has been served with a demand in the amount of $503,246.43 during a news conference in Tupelo today. From August 2007 through December 2012, the Itawamba County Chancery Clerk’s office failed to settle funds collected for the redemption of delinquent taxes in a timely manner as required by law. “Mississippi law specifically says that the redemption of land sold for taxes shall be made through the Chancery Clerk’s office,” Auditor Pickering said. “While Mr. Witt did not steal this money or personally benefit from it,… Read More