Pelahatchie News

In addition to being named East Rankin Academy’s (ERA) valedictorian, Emilee Tadlock also served as student body vice-president. Tadlock was a member of Mu Alpha The- ta Mathematics Honor Soci- ety, ACT Academic Team, and served as vice-president of the ERA Chapter of the National Honor Society. Tadlock won subject awards in Anatomy and Physiology, Psychology, Hon- ors English 12, and Speech. She also was a member of the varsity girls soccer and basket- ball teams. Tadlock was named MAIS All Conference and All District in varsity girls basket- ball and was selected to play in the MAIS Class AAAAAll Star Basketball Game. She plans to continue her education at East Central Community College. Emily Myers, salutatorian, On May 21, special agents from the Mississippi Office of the State Audi- tor (OSA) delivered civil demands to several current and former officials in the Town of Pelahatchie. The OSA’s demands claim that drug seizure funds, which are required to be used for law enforcement purposes, were misspent by the Town. Two demands were is- sued, for a total $502,363.07, which in- cludes interest and investigative costs. The OSA states that current and former officials - and the bonding company that insures them - have thirty days to pay. If not, StateAuditor Stacey Picker- ing said he will sue them in civil court. Mississippi law requires the trans- fer of all funds received through the forfeiture proceedings under the Uni- form Controlled Substance Law into the budget of the corresponding law enforcement agency. An OSA review of Pelahatchie’s Forfeiture Account shows this transfer did not occur. After an OSA investigation, several illegal transfers were discovered. Some of the illegal transfers relate to: • Transfers to the Town’s Enterprise Account (Utility Account) • Transfers to the Town’s Special Fire Fund • Transfers made to prevent overdraft in the regular Town checking account • Transfers to pay salaries of non-police department employees • Transfers to pay for items not associated with the Pelahatchie Police Department in any way In Mississippi, asset forfeiture has a dual purpose of discouraging drug traf- ficking and providing a direct benefit to law enforcement agencies across the state. The goal of asset forfeiture is to provide police departments with ad- ditional funds to spend on equipment, additional training, officer overtime payment, and salary to hire new offi- cers. The intent is to provide citizens with a better-equipped and more quali- fied police department. Pelahatchie Mayor Ryshonda Beechem released a response to the Pickering’s demands on May 22, stat- ing, "When the Board and city clerks continued to request [that I] sign checks of this nature, [I] contacted the State Auditor for clarification on the issues. [I] was instructed to contact In- vestigations at that point. [I] complied with all requests made of [me] by the State Auditor’s office relative to the in- vestigation." The first demand, totaling $421,688.10, represents the period of January 2015 to June 2017. It was is- sued to former Pelahatchie mayor Knox Ross, Jr., former Pelahatchie alderman Jerry Norwood, former Pelahatchie alderwoman Megan Hall, former city clerk Bettye Massey, current alderman Frank Boyd, current alderman Michael Adams, and current alderwoman Mar- gie Warren. The demand indicates that all recipients of the demand are jointly PRSRT STD U.S. POSTAGE PAID PELAHATCHIE, MS PERMIT NO. 4 Pelahatchie News P.O. Box 771 Pelahatchie, MS 39145 Cunningham Courage Award given to her sister See page 12 Lyle serving Town as City Clerk See page 6 June 2018 Volume 7 Issue 6 Pelahatchie, MS State Auditor issues $500k demand for misspent drug forfeiture funds Tadlock, Myers awarded ERA top honors Good News You Can Use A Caring & Friendly Atmosphere Treating Children, Adults, and Seniors Cleanings • Fillings Extractions • Whitening Dentures • Crowns Root Canals • Implants and More Special to Pelahatchie News Special to Pelahatchie News Walters, Attkisson lead PHS senior class The 2018 Pelahatchie High School (PHS) senior class valedictorian is Gabbi Lee Walters, the daughter of Gabe and Lacy Walters. She held a GPA of 96.243. Walters partic- ipated in Rankin Youth Leader- ship, served as Student Council President and FFA President, and was a member of the Beta Club. She graduated with aca- demic and ACT honors, being recognized as a Mississippi Scholar and distinguished ser- vice graduate, and was induct- ed into the Pelahatchie High School Hall of Fame. She plans to attend Hinds Community College and Mississippi State University and become a veter- inarian. Anna Grace Attkisson was named salutatorian. She is the daughter of Tim Attkisson and Lisa Attkisson. She held a GPA Special to Pelahatchie News Gabbi Walters, top, is PHS's Valedictorian, and Anna At- tkisson is the Salutatorian. Pelahatchie City Hall Photo by Pelahatchie News continued on page 3 Special to Pelahatchie News continued on page 3 Emilee Tadlock, top, is ERA's Valedictorian, and Emily My- ers is the Salutatorian. Special to Pelahatchie News continued on page 5