State Auditor: Two Mississippi alderman misappropriated $42,000 in public funds

Published 10:16 am Wednesday, July 10, 2024

The Mississippi Auditor’s office demands more than $42,000, which it says was misappropriated by two state aldermen.

State Auditor Shad White announced on Wednesday that Special Agents from his office have served City of Indianola Aldermen Ruben Woods, Marvin Elder, and Sam Brock Jr. with civil demands totaling $42,441.15 after they collectively misappropriated $38,900 in public funds to be paid to Spencer Construction in the absence of a binding, non-void, and enforceable contract.

In September 2019, the city of Indianola entered into a contract with Mississippi Home Corporation (MHC) to receive grant funds to be used for rehabilitation and/or reconstruction of homes for low-income homeowners. Indianola contracted with South Delta Planning and Development District (SDPDD) to perform administrative services related to the grant.

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Spencer Construction entered into a contract for renovations to a residency, which was to be paid for through the MHC grant. However, SDPDD submitted the paperwork requesting payment after the deadline which caused the payment request to be denied.

Aldermen Woods, Elder, and Brock Jr. all voted to pay Spencer Construction $38,900 despite the city of Indianola not having any written contract for the work provided. All three have been served with civil demands. No prosecutor has charged any of these individuals with a crime.

“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,” said State Auditor Shad White.

Suspected fraud can be reported to the Auditor’s office online at any time by clicking the red button at or calling 1-(800)-321-1275 during normal business hours.