Mississippi News

State Auditor Pressures Indianola Aldermen Over $42,000 Misappropriation

According to the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor, Shad White has taken decisive action against Indianola Aldermen Ruben Woods, Marvin Elder, and Sam Brock Jr., demanding a total of $42,441.15 in restitution following their alleged misappropriation of public funds. The civil demands come in response to findings that the aldermen collectively approved $38,900 in payments to Spencer Construction without a valid contractual agreement.

In September 2019, the City of Indianola engaged with the Mississippi Home Corporation (MHC) to secure grant funds aimed at home rehabilitation for low-income residents. Administrative duties for the grant were delegated to the South Delta Planning and Development District (SDPDD).

Spencer Construction was contracted to perform renovations under the MHC grant. However, due to administrative delays, SDPDD submitted payment paperwork past the stipulated deadline, resulting in the denial of payment. Despite this setback, Aldermen Woods, Elder, and Brock Jr. voted to disburse $38,900 to Spencer Construction, despite the absence of a formal contract outlining the scope of work.

State Auditor Shad White emphasized the significance of adherence to proper fiscal protocols: “It’s vitally important that government officials follow the proper process for spending taxpayer funds. This is what helps guarantee those funds are not misused.”

No criminal charges have been filed against the aldermen at this time.

Individuals suspecting fraud or financial misconduct in public offices are encouraged to report such activities to the State Auditor’s office. Reports can be filed online via the Auditor’s website or by calling 1-(800)-321-1275 during regular business hours.

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