Special Agents from the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor arrested former City Clerk of Ecru, Gretchin Moody, and former Chief of Police Paul Martin Blaylock, for embezzlement and issued demands nearly $400,000 for investigative costs and interest that were added to the amount they embezzled.
The State Auditor’s office said City of Ecru officials notified their office after internal discrepancies were discovered.
The OSA Investigative Division determined that the embezzled funds were used to purchase over 75 firearms, which were seized by the OSA and submitted as evidence in the case, which the Office of the Attorney General will prosecute.
“The auditors and investigators in the State Auditor’s Office are crucial in unraveling schemes by some public official to steal from the taxpayers,” said General Hood. “I applaud their efforts to hold officials accountable and deter others from getting greedy.”
State Auditor Stacey Pickering said he appreciated the work that the Attorney General’s office had done to assist in prosecuting the case.
“Any time public funds are embezzled, it is a travesty, especially in towns like Ecru where the trust of neighbors, friends, and family is betrayed,” said Pickering
Moody and Blaylock are in the Pontotoc County Adult Detention Center with bonds set at $30,000 and $20,000, respectively.
Arraignment for both will take place September 26.
Photos courtesy of the Office of State Auditor.