PHOTO: Pickering with the annual exceptions report in hand at the Neshoba County Fair Wednesday.
JACKSON, Miss.–There was over $1.2 million recovered by the state auditor’s office in the last fiscal year. That means at least that much was misspent by public servants entrusted with the money. State Auditor Stacey Pickering released his annual Exceptions Report Friday.
CLICK HERE TO READ THE REPORT: 2015 Exception Report
Through June 30, the total of monies recovered was $1,281,655.14.
This report is a legally mandated account of all misappropriated or misspent public funds and the actions taken by the State Auditor’s Office for recovery and return of those funds to the appropriate entities for FY 2015, said a news release from Pickering’s camp.
An audit “exception” indicates that a violation of the law or an accounting error resulted in public funds being misappropriated or spent incorrectly. The term also refers to money that must be repaid.
Pickering said this week on the Gallo Radio show that there is the potential to have collected over $5 million worth of cash and misappropriated goods and equipment.
“Because of the joint investigations and prosecutions we have done with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the FBI, and other federal agencies, specifically in those joint investigations, between demands, seizures and forfeitures, it’s over $4.7 million,” said Pickering.
PICKERING ON THE GALLO SHOW
“That is a huge number. A lot of it’s coming out of the (former Corrections commissioner) Chris Epps case, a couple of the other cases.”
Pickering said the $1.2 million total for the last fiscal year also includes payments that are still being paid from years past.
Pickering is up for re-election and has been fighting accusations of corruption, including an article in the Clarion-Ledger newspaper that said there may be an investigation by the FBI into Pickering’s campaign finances. He has said he has not been notified of any investigation and works with the feds on a daily basis.
Pickering also issued a statement saying all of his finances were on the up-and-up.
His name appears with Madison Mayor Mary Hawkins-Butler in the Tuesday Republican primary.