BASSFIELD, Miss.–Integrity is what you expect out of public officials when you vote for them, but that’s exactly what these guys did not have, according to the state auditor. Embezzlement is the main charge against four former city employees of Bassfield, in Rankin County. That list includes the former mayor and fire chief.
Jerry C. Holland, former Mayor of Bassfield; Tommy Dewitt, former Fire Chief ofBassfield; Robert Mauldin, former Maintenance Supervisor of Bassfield; and Dianna Hutchison, former Deputy Clerk and part-time police officer for Bassfield were booked Monday on the indictments of embezzlement and conspiracy to commit embezzlement.
Special agents with Auditor Stacey Pickering’s office and the Rankin County Sheriff’s Dept. made the arrests.
The items in question: Boats, trailers and heavy equipment worth about $300,000. In May 2012 city employees Billy Matthews and Brenda Saulters were arrested in connection with the scam where the equipment was purchased under the guise that it would be used by the city. That was under the Surplus Property Program, which allows cities to purchase surplus government property at a discount.
These items were purchased at a steep discount.
“I appreciate the efforts of the Rankin County District Attorney for prosecuting these four subjects,” said State Auditor Stacey Pickering. “During this investigation, our agents, along with the staff of Surplus Property and the City of Bassfield, were able to recover 22 items from the individuals who were using them for personal use and return to the State of Mississippi.”
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