January 23, 2021

Trial moved to next year for mayor accused of receiving money for business trips he never took

The trial date for a Mississippi city’s mayor accused of embezzlement has been pushed to next year.

Aberdeen Mayor Maurice Howard was indicted in October 2019 on five counts of embezzlement for allegedly receiving about $3,500 in taxpayer-funded travel reimbursements for five trips he is alleged to have never taken.

The trial was originally set to begin Dec. 14, but a continuance was granted Monday that pushes the trial to Feb. 1, The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reported.

Howard sought the continuance after he was forced to retain new counsel when his former attorney, John Robbins of Tupelo, was disbarred in October.

He is now represented by Carlos Tanner III of Tanner & Associates LLC of Jackson and Michael Todd Sterling of Dreyer Sterling of Atlanta.

A former Atlanta mayoral candidate, Sterling is the husband of Eva Marcille Sterling, a winner of “America’s Next Top Model” who has had roles on numerous television shows including “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” and “The Young and the Restless.”

Tanner previously worked as a federal prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney’s Office. He founded his own firm and has handled both civil and criminal cases in federal and state courts throughout the United States.