Thursday, October 31, 2019

Aberdeen Mayor Arrested for Embezzlement

State Auditor Shad White issued the following statement.


Today Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from his office have arrested Mayor Maurice Howard of Aberdeen after he
was indicted for 5 counts of embezzlement by a grand jury assembled by District Attorney John Weddle. A demand letter worth $11,649.34 was delivered to Howard at the time of his arrest. Interest and investigative costs are included in the demand amount.

Howard is accused of embezzling city funds meant to pay for travel expenses related to city business. Howard sought and was paid advance checks for attending meetings and conferences on behalf oft he City of Aberdeen but then failed to actually attend the events. By depositing the checks into his personal bank account and not returning the unused money, Howard allegedly stole nearly $3,500 from Aberdeen taxpayers.

Investigators also determined the Mayor used a city vehicle for personal travel. In addition to this, they found Howard should repay the city for providing hotel rooms and conference registration fees the Mayor never used. This part of the demand is worth over $2,000 and is not part of the criminal allegations against him.

“Politicians should not lie to the voters about working on their behalf when they are not. And they certainly should not lie in order to financially benefit at the same time,” said Auditor White.

“This is a breach of the trust that the voters put in our elected officials, and the Mayor must be held accountable. Thank you to our excellent team of investigators who uncovered this scheme and put a stop to it.”

Howard was arrested by Special Agents and transported to the Monroe County Detention Center. He was released from custody after posting a $10,000 bond.


If convicted on all counts, Howard faces up to $25,000 in fines and 100 years in prison. Conviction would also prevent him from holding public office. All persons arrested by the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. The case will be prosecuted by District Attorney Weddle.

A $100,000 surety bond covers Howard’s time as mayor of the City of Aberdeen. A surety bond is similar to insurance designed to protect taxpayers from corruption. Howard will remain liable for the
full amount of the demand in addition to criminal proceedings.

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

No doubt Maurice has a perfectly logical explanation for all of this.

Anonymous said...

The mayor should listen to Aberdeen’s great blues man, Bukka White’s song “ Parchman Farm Blues”

Anonymous said...

Yawn

Anonymous said...

Most of this would apply to many public officials. Travel and conferences are treated as a perks and not to really do business. Public cars are always misused. It does seem like this Mayor took it a little far.

Anonymous said...

Of all the people to go after they target a mayor who pocketed $3,000? Wake me when they grow a pair and go after some real abusers

Cynical Sam said...

Go Mr. Shad! MS is a target rich environment. Stay the course!

Anonymous said...

Shad's testing the waters to see how much backlash he will get in going after a single small-town black official. Depending on how that goes, he may move further up the chain to eventually get to target-rich places like Canton.

Anonymous said...

Shad needs to look at the Jackson airport travels.......maybe he can lock up those crooks too

Anonymous said...

$3,500 = 100 years in prison? Surely you jest. I think 2 years in prison would steer someone on the right track from a wrong such as this. 100 is asinine.

Anonymous said...

Well, 8:52, let us in on your secret. Just who are the ones they should be after?

Anonymous said...

I guess fraud is fraud, but certainly there are more egregious offenders out there. Overkill to arrest the guy.

Anonymous said...

10:00 - See 9:38. That is all.

Anonymous said...

The armed robber that robs a convenience store and get $50 and the guy that gets $50,000 only difference is effectiveness.
Where the robber is from or personal characteristics are not relevant.

Anonymous said...

I would dearly love to see Shad and his people come in to Canton but I dont believe he has what it takes to do it. Ready Eddie and Babbs will take his young ass back to school.

Dont you know the Blackmons and the people they represent are untouchable?

Anonymous said...

10:00, he can start with Haley and most of Barbour Snow. Between timber deals, $300 million or so in grants to Kior etc, and pardoning a few hundred heinous criminals, that should keep Shad busy until the next election cycle.

Anonymous said...

I've been reading this blog for a short time now, and why are the Blackmons so untouchable? It isn't like they are friends of the old guard of this state. Why are they considered so powerful?

Anonymous said...

Corruption, corruption at the highest levels everywhere and in 16 years Jim Hood didn't prosecute anybody for corruption, kickbacks, illegal campaign contributions, NOTHING.

Anonymous said...

12:54 The Blackmons let others do their dirty work and are smart enough to make certain that the dirt can't be traced back to them. They're just like Benny Thompson and Kenneth "Big Swoll" Stokes. Their constituents would go to jail for them.

Anonymous said...

Go Sharduick!

With laws enforcemnt like this Misissippi can be grate aggain!

Anonymous said...

It's time Shad graduated from the 'low hanging fruit' tour and got after some real corruption. I wonder if his search engine will ever pick up a signal for Canton.

Anonymous said...

Why are they considered so powerful?

They know where the bodies are buried.

Anonymous said...

Until he brings down the corruption in Canton, I will still consider the Auditor small time.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree. Until he deals with Canton....

Anonymous said...

Shad last month my utility bill for a 2 bedroom home in canton was over $300. My family is being taken advantage of and nobody cares. You are elected to help those that can’t help themselves. I hope you read this and consider those of us who don’t have a voice. Please sir.

Anonymous said...

Shad talks a big game, but plays small time. His parents were both educators (he constantly tells everyone) but he won't touch the educational industrial complex for fear of uncovering the deep state, billion dollar boondoggle that it is.

MDE and the IHL basically have instituted a "no fail" policy across the board through coercion and intimidation of all staff and faculty. Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is required by state and federal laws.....but MS games the system with fraudulent data indicating that is happening. It ain't. The purpose is to keep dollars rolling in and through the Mississippi economy no matter what is actually happening (or not) in any given classroom.

Anonymous said...

@5:39am. I feel your pain. If Shad refuses to enforce the laws in your city I suggest you start a local petition and get as many signatures as possible. Once you have a lot of signatures send it to the press and maybe that will get his attention. If that doesn’t work then maybe Shad won’t go unopposed in his next election.

Anonymous said...

Isn't CMU the domain of the PSC?

Anonymous said...

Government at all levels in Mississippi is grounded in a culture of pretense and self dealing, why else would you spend 10-20x of the salary of an office to campaign? Once you're in the club, it is expected that everyone will provide cover for everyone else, unless of course you violate the unwritten rules - then you will be publicly shamed and subjected to criminal prosecution. People who think that the former soviet union satellites are corrupt would be shocked by what goes on in Miss'ippi. Shad can only do so much...

Anonymous said...

CMU is a City agency and not governed by PSC.

Anonymous said...

What kind of dirty work have the Blackmons done? You guys make them sound mob-like? Sounds like a possible Grisham novel the way they are referenced here.

Anonymous said...

State Auditor is a stepping stone to the Governor’s Office. Just look back through history. This is how you make a name for yourself. Also, these people in public office that do this stuff are stupid. Sorry, that’s just the way it is.

Anonymous said...

"Isn't CMU the domain of the PSC? November 1, 2019 at 8:27 AM"

Not really. The PSC regulates rates and such and can investigate any utility that gigs its customers. But the commission doesn't investigate corruption in the board room.

Nobody in state government, the FBI or the spy division of NASA has the balls to show up at Canton City Hall and bust the door down.

Anonymous said...

Did Shad’s predecessor never do anything or did they just not do press releases?

Anonymous said...

8:56. Yes to both.

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