CONTACT: Lisa H. Shoemaker (601) 576-2641 or (601) 613-8518
Laney Grantham (601) 576-2641 or (601) 668-3483
DATE: August 24, 2011
State Auditor Issues $111,000 Demand Against Former Hollandale Principal
(Jackson, Miss.) - State Auditor Stacey Pickering announced today Roger Liddell, former principal of Simmons High School in the Hollandale School System in Washington County, has been served a demand in the amount of $111,581.38 following an investigation by the State Auditor’s Office. A complaint received in 2009 started the investigation into missing computers, televisions and video equipment. The amount of inventory missing from the Hollandale School District is valued at $73,032.88.
“This demand represents a large amount of money for taxpayers in Washington County and students attending the Hollandale Schools,” said State Auditor Stacey Pickering. “Often in tough economic times, our school districts are forced to do more with less. In some cases, that means no new equipment and supplies or in worse cases, fewer teachers in the classroom. I am appalled that an administrator would purchase state-of-the-art equipment with taxpayer dollars and deprive Washington County students of the opportunity to learn from it.”
Special agents with the State Auditor’s Office served the demand on Liddell Wednesday morning. Liddell has 30 days to repay the demanded amount which includes investigative costs and interest. After 30 days, the case will be turned over to the Attorney General for collection.
Elected as Mississippi’s State Auditor in 2007, Stacey Pickering has recovered more than $4.8 million in embezzled, misspent or misappropriated funds. He is a seventh generation Mississippian from Jones County. Auditor Pickering currently serves on the Domestic Working Group for the Office of the Comptroller General of the United States. He also serves on the Financial Management and Intergovernmental Affairs and Performance Audit Committees for the National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers and Treasurers and is a member of the National State Auditors Association. Prior to serving as State Auditor, Pickering served as a State Senator from 2004-2007 representing Jones County and is credited for co-authorizing legislation allowing Mississippi to end lawsuit abuse. 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.