Ex-chief's embezzlement trial set

COLUMBIA, MS (WDAM) - Former Columbia police chief Joe Van Parkman will go on trial in October on charges of embezzlement and making false statements to city officials.

Parkman was indicted in December on a complaint filed by the attorney general's office. The embezzlement charge stems from the purchase of a handgun with city funds for his personal use.

However, Parkman's attorney has filed a motion seeking to dismiss that charge claiming Parkman repaid the city the $500 cost of the gun by having $25 deducted from each paycheck.

The motion goes on to say the city of Columbia issued a bill of sale to Parkman selling him the handgun since he had reimbursed the city for the cost. A hearing on that motion will be held within the next two weeks.

Parkman was not rehired as police chief last October when a new city administration took office.