LAMAR COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - A former bookkeeper for the Oloh Fire Protection District is facing up to 20 years in prison and a $25,000 fine for allegedly embezzling more than $68,000 from the fire district.
State Auditor Shad White said special agents with his office arrested Jessica Delancey, a former secretary and treasurer with the Oloh Fire Protection District, after a grand jury indicted her on a charge of embezzlement.
According to White, Delancey started working to the fire district in 2012. Her contract allowed her to receive a monthly payment of $100 and $50 per diem each time the fire protection board met. White said his office started looking into the fire district’s financials after the Lamar County Board of Supervisors reported discrepancies in the district’s account.
White said investigators discovered Delancey wrote checks to herself from the district’s account totaling $68,719 more than she was owed. Delancey reportedly had unsupervised access to the fire district’s accounts and operated the scheme from February 2013 to July 2018.
"This is, once again, an example of someone working in a small government office abusing their power over the checkbook for significant personal gain,” said White. “When funds intended for law enforcement or a fire department are stolen, it jeopardizes the safety of the community. We will continue to identify people who put their communities at risk in this way and hold them accountable."
Delancey was booked into the Lamar County Jail but was released Friday after posting bail.
This is the second arrest involving embezzlement within the Oloh Fire Protection District in the past six months. In October 2018, agents with the state auditor’s office arrested Michelle Barefoot on a charge of embezzlement. White said Barefoot was the district’s bookkeeper before Delancey.