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View Full Version : State Auditor Makes Eighth Arrest in MDOT Corruption Ring



Lisa Shoemaker
08-18-2009, 11:09 AM
MEDIA RELEASE

For Immediate Release
August 18, 2009
For More Information Contact
Lisa Shoemaker - (601) 576-2645 or (601) 613-8518

State Auditor Makes Eighth Arrest in MDOT Corruption Ring

(Jackson, Miss.) On Monday, special agents with the State Auditorís Office arrested Dennis Keith Pierce, a co-conspirator in the Mississippi Department of Transportation corruption ring that netted seven arrests last week. On Wednesday, August 12, special agents arrested Joseph C. Gallagher and Ricky Saxton. On Tuesday, August 11, the State Auditorís Office also arrested five MDOT employees involved in the same case.

ďOur special agent on the case discovered Keith Pierce in Madison County on Monday afternoon despite information claiming he was out of the country,Ē said State Auditor Stacey Pickering. ďAfter executing the arrest, Pierce was transported to Yazoo County for booking and later posted bond. We appreciate the assistance of Madison and Yazoo counties in assisting in this arrest.Ē Pierce will be arraigned in Yazoo County August 24, 2009.

Dennis Keith Pierce, 53 of Benton, was indicted for conspiracy, fraudulently obtaining public funds and making false entries in public records. It is alleged that Pierce embezzled funds from the Mississippi Department of Transportation by receiving payments for false invoices submitted to MDOT. Total sought in recovery is $444.

Joseph C. Gallagher, 49 of Benton, was indicted on two counts: fraudulently obtaining public funds and conspiracy to fraudulently obtain public funds. He began employment with MDOT in July 2002. It is alleged that Gallagher embezzled funds from the MDOT by knowingly ordering parts for a private party and having the parts billed and paid for by MDOT. The State Auditorís Office seeks $471.35 in recovery from Gallagher.

Ricky Saxton was indicted on one count: conspiracy to fraudulently obtain public funds. Saxton owns and operates Ricky Saxtonís Repair Shop located in Yazoo City. It is alleged that Saxton knowingly fulfilled orders placed by MDOT maintenance employees for use on vehicles owned by a private party.

James Kevin Ellis, 45 of Benton, was indicted on eleven counts: four counts of embezzlement; three counts of making false entries in public records; three counts of obtaining public funds fraudulently and two counts of conspiracy. He has been employed with MDOT since April 1999. It is alleged that Ellis took and sold equipment owned by MDOT and negotiated and approving illegitimate invoices being billed and paid by MDOT for personal purchases. The State Auditorís Office seeks $4,542.20 in recovery from Ellis.

Clarence Shelton, 56 of Benton, was indicted on sixteen counts: one count of embezzlement; six counts of fraudulently obtaining public funds; six counts of making false entries in public records; and three counts of conspiracy. He began employment with MDOT in October 1989. Shelton is charged with embezzling funds from MDOT by approving subordinate employees to work on personal projects while on duty and by acquiring parts for personal vehicles, knowingly having them billed to MDOT and approving payment for the invoices. Total sought in recovery against Shelton is $4,217.51.

Gene Edward Taylor, 35 of Yazoo City, was indicted on three counts: conspiracy, fraudulently obtaining public funds and making false entries in public records. He began employment with MDOT in January 2007. The investigation determined Taylor benefited from MDOTís payment for a part to be used on his personal vehicle. Total sought in recovery is $1,069.20.

Ivory Luckett, 51 of Satartia, was indicted on two counts: embezzlement and conspiracy. Luckett began employment with MDOT in May 2000. Allegedly, Luckett worked on personal property while on duty as an employee of MDOT to perform maintenance on a truck owned by an individual and MDOTís payment of a part placed on the personal vehicle. Total sought in recovery is $244.22.

James D. Malone, 53 of Yazoo City, was indicted on three counts: fraudulently obtaining public funds, making false entries in public record and conspiracy. He has been employed with MDOT since January 1995. The investigation determined that Malone also benefited from a part that was ordered for his personal vehicle and installed by an MDOT employee while working on duty at the agency. Total sought in recovery against Malone is $161.19.


Elected as Mississippiís State Auditor in 2007, Stacey Pickering (R) has recovered over $2.4 million in embezzled, misspent or misappropriated funds. He is a seventh generation Mississippian from Jones County. While serving as a State Senator from 2004-2007 he was recognized by the Mississippi Association of Realtors as Legislator of the Year and is credited for co-authorizing legislation allowing Mississippi to end law suit abuse. He was named by the American Legislative Exchange Council to the national policy task forces on Transportation and Homeland Security, and founded and was co-chairman of the Miss. Legislative Sportsmanís Caucus. Throughout his political career, Pickering has made tremendous strides in creating more accountability and transparency in government and continues to promote fiscal responsibility and the need for more efficiency and productivity in government. For more information on Stacey Pickering, visit www.osa.state.ms.us/auditors-bio.htm.

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