State Auditor Returns $25,000 to Holmes County Board of Supervisors

March 7, 2013

JACKSON- State Auditor Pickering returned $25,000.00 yesterday, March 6, to the Holmes County Board of Supervisors following an investigation into former Supervisor Norman Cobbins’ embezzlement of public funds.

Auditor Pickering presenting a check for $25,000.00 to Holmes County. Left to right: Auditor Pickering, Henry Lucky (Chancery Clerk), Charlie Joiner (County Administrator), and J.W. Self (Supervisor).

In November 2012, Cobbins pled guilty to two counts of embezzlement in federal court. As part of the plea agreement, approved by U.S. District Court Judge Daniel P. Jordan, Cobbins was ordered to pay $26,968.88 in restitution and to be imprisoned for six months with a supervised release term of three years.

In the course of the investigation, the Auditor’s Office found that Cobbins had used public funds for personal gain by receiving kickbacks and submitting false invoices. Cobbins also used Holmes County crews to work on his personal property while on County time. Cobbins had served as Holmes County Supervisor since January 1996. This conviction will prohibit Cobbins from serving as a County Supervisor or holding any elected public service office again.

“Our investigation began with this case in 2007 when our office received the first complaint,” said State Auditor Stacey Pickering. “The investigation indicated that Cobbins was clearly stealing from the County, and we hope that the $25,000.00 returned today will help Holmes County recover from its financial loss.”