CONTACT: Lisa H. Shoemaker (601) 576-2645 or (601) 613-8518
Laney Grantham (601) 576-2641
DATE: October 26, 2011
Former Calhoun County Chancery Clerk Indicted for Embezzlement
(Jackson, Miss.) State Auditor Stacey Pickering announced today that former Chancery Clerk of Calhoun County and current candidate for Calhoun County Chancery Clerk, Jess Moore, has been indicted on two counts of embezzlement following an investigation by the State Auditor’s Office. An audit conducted by the State Auditor’s Office uncovered a discrepancy that resulted in an unannounced visit to Calhoun County Chancery Clerk’s Office in March 2011. Special agents with the State Auditor’s Office conducted a cash count of the Land Redemption account as a result of the earlier audit findings.
Special agents concluded $13,894.81 was unaccounted for in the Land Redemption account. Following the cash count, Chancery Clerk Jess Moore repaid $11,826.52 taken from the Chancery Clerk’s office that had not been properly deposited into the Land Redemption account. Moore resigned on March 3, 2011 during an interview with special agents from the State Auditor’s Office.
“Former Chancery Clerk Jess Moore turned himself in this morning to authorities in Calhoun County after being indicted for embezzlement following our investigation,” said State Auditor Stacey Pickering. “Earlier this year in February and March, my office executed 2 unannounced cash counts in Mississippi where we suspected wrong doing, and both resulted in individuals’ removal from office and execution of emergency procedures to ensure taxpayers were protected. This is an example of how the routine audit process can lead to an investigation, and in this case, it resulted in a recovery on behalf of the taxpayers along with criminal charges. District Attorney Ben Creekmore presented this case to a Calhoun County grand jury, and I appreciate him and his staff for their work.”
After the repayment of $11,826.52 in March, Moore owes $11,108.34 which includes the remaining $2,068.29 of principal, $41.37 of interest and $8,998.68 in investigative cost.
Moore qualified to run for re-election to the position of Calhoun County Chancery Clerk prior to his resignation on March 3, 2011 and is unopposed in the November 8 General Election.
Elected as Mississippi’s State Auditor in 2007, Stacey Pickering has recovered more than $4 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.