Mississippi mayor pleads guilty to embezzlement

Published 12:38 pm Monday, February 1, 2021

Aberdeen Mayor Maurice Howard pleaded guilty to embezzlement by a public official Monday in Monroe County Circuit Court.

The Tupelo Daily Journal reports that Judge John White sentenced Howard to be removed from office and to a 10-year suspended sentence. Howard was also ordered to repay more than $8,000 to Old Republic Surety. He will not serve any jail time.

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 criminal charges were brought forth by the Mississippi State Auditor’s office.

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In a press release, State Auditor Shad White issued the following statement regarding court proceedings in Monroe County this morning:

“I am pleased this morning that Mr. Howard, who stole from the people of Aberdeen, has been removed from office and has pleaded guilty to a felony. When a politician takes public money for their own benefit and lies about it, it’s important to remember there are victims. The victims are the taxpayers and people of the city. I’m grateful for the work of the district attorney’s office and my investigators for bringing this case to a conclusion,” he said.