Auditor’s report gives latest on local cases


The latest edition of the Audit Exceptions Report from the Mississippi State Auditor’s Office was recently released and provided updates to several local cases.


The report is the first released under the administration of newly-appointed state auditor Shad White, who was named to the position by Gov. Phil Bryant in June after Stacey Pickering resigned to become the head of the state’s Veterans Affairs Board. 


The Audit Exceptions Report is a legally-mandated account of misappropriated or misspent public funds and actions taken by the State Auditor’s office. 




The case for former Oktibbeha County Chancery Clerk Monica Banks, who is now deceased, was mentioned among the updates, with the State Auditor’s Office saying a formal demand was made on June 15, 2017 in the amount of $101,957.43. 


Banks died in September 2016, but was listed on past exception reports while she was still alive. 


According to the report, the charge levied against her was embezzlement. 


The case was transmitted to Attorney General Jim Hood’s office on March 9, 2018. 




Former Mississippi State University employee Susan Holder was arrested in September 2016 on embezzlement charges and ultimately pleaded guilty in April on the charge.


The Starkville Daily News previously reported Holder was initially accused of submitting duplicate travel expenses for $35,496.98 between September 2007 and October 2011, getting those reimbursed by both the university and a private foundation.


The Audit Exception Report states that on Oct. 25, 2016, a formal demand was issued in the amount of $81,946.47. 


After entering a guilty plea, Holder was sentenced to a year under house arrest and four years of post-release supervision. She was also ordered to pay restitution and court costs in the amount of $58,449.49. 


According to the report, $50,000 has been paid, leaving a balance of $31,946.47. 




Former MSU employee Lisa Lindsey was issued a formal demand in the amount of $59.428.71 in January 2003. 


The case was ultimately turned over to the Attorney General’s office in February 2003. 


Lindsey pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement in July 2003, and was sentenced to 10 years in prison, with five years suspended on supervised probation. 


Additionally, she was ordered to pay $59,428 in restitution. 


For fiscal year 2018, $5,875.22 has been paid, leaving a balance of $9,695.03, according to the report. 




Former Columbus-Lowndes Airport manager Billy Scarbrough was charged with embezzlement in May, with then-State Auditor Stacy Pickering serving a demand of $14,490.81. 


While in his position as airport manager, Scarbrough was accused of obtaining over 2,000 gallons of unleaded and/or diesel fuel from Columbus Public Works.


The Starkville Daily News previously reported the fuel was obtained outside the scope of Scarbrough’s duties as manager. 


In an unrelated criminal case, the State Auditor said Scarbrough had been previously arrested by the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office for alleged theft of airplane parts.


According to the report, Scarbrough was indicted on the charges in April.