CONTACT: Lisa H. Shoemaker (601) 576-2641 or (601) 613-8518
Laney Grantham (601) 576-2641 or (601) 668-3483
DATE: October 25, 2011
State Auditor Issues Demand Against Walnut Grove Mayor for $31,000
(Jackson, Miss.) - State Auditor Stacey Pickering announced today that a demand has been issued against Walnut Grove mayor Grady Sims in the amount of $31,530.29 for using city employees and city equipment to work on private prison facilities and allowing city equipment to be used on personal property. The investigation analyzed records from 2008 until 2010.
“The demand issued against Mayor Sims represents multiple instances where city employees were directed by the mayor to do work at a private prison facilities located in Walnut Grove,” said State Auditor Stacey Pickering. “Taxpayers of Walnut Grove have been paying for equipment and labor to do work at these facilities that are for-profit, private prisons. In addition, town equipment and labor have been used on private property at taxpayer expense.”
In addition to the civil demand issued by the State Auditor, the Federal Grand Jury has indicted the mayor on multiple federal charges unrelated to the State Auditor’s investigation, and Sims was arraigned today in United States District Court.
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-authoring 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.