PEARL RIVER COUNTY, Miss.–If you got in trouble, it would probably be very nice if you could just pay the prosecuting attorney and get a get out of jail free card. That’s exactly what State Auditor Stacey Pickering said was happening in Pearl River County, and now Prosecuting Atty. Aaron Russell has been indicted on one count of altering public records and one count of committing fraud by a public official.
Special Agents of the Auditor’s Office and Pearl River County Sheriff Deputies arrested Russell at his home Wednesday and he was taken to the Pearl River County lockup.
Russell, 50, in his second term as county attorney, is accused of “setting up and executing an unauthorized pretrial diversion program in which he accepted money from defendants in return for their charges being dropped”. In other words, he took bribes to lay off of accused crooks.
“Mr. Russell circumvented the justice system when he created and implemented an unauthorized diversion program,” said Pickering. “Mr. Russell is an elected official who abused his position and he will be held accountable for his actions.”