Former Town of Prentiss clerk sentenced

Published 2:10 pm Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Gail Williams, former Municipal Court Clerk for the Town of Prentiss, pled guilty on Monday to embezzling $89,620.27.

Former Town of Prentiss Clerk sentenced for embezzlement.

Former Town of Prentiss Clerk sentenced for embezzlement.

Williams, 59, was sentenced to five years with two years to be served under house arrest and three years suspended. She was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $79,620.27, which is $10,000 less than owed. The State Auditor’s office previously issued and collected on a demand for $10,000 from her bonding company. Williams will pay restitution, assessment fees and costs of court at the rate of $100 per month beginning 30 days after she enters the Intensive Supervision House Arrest Program.

During the two-year period she is in the house arrest program, Williams will be required to wear a monitoring device at all times and pay the $88 per month fee for this service.

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Upon completion of house arrest, Williams will be placed on post-release supervision for the remaining three years of her sentence.

Williams’ duties as court clerk were to collect payment for court fines, fees and other assessments from defendants as imposed by the municipal court judge. She accepted cash payments but did not record the payments on the monthly reports submitted to the town clerk.

Once the discovery was made of financial discrepancies, the entire matter was turned over to the office of the Mississippi State Auditor. The State Auditor’s office handled the investigation, as well as the dismissal of Williams from her duties with the town.

“Over a period of several years, Ms. Williams embezzled taxpayer money from the town of Prentiss,” State Auditor Stacey Pickering said. “I am pleased that she will have to pay back to the citizens of Prentiss the money that she stole.”

Williams was employed by the town for 26 years prior to her resignation.

“We are grateful to finally put this episode behind us. Our office has worked closely with the State Auditor and his office from the moment we first contacted them through the entire process. We appreciate the diligence they have shown in seeking justice,” said Prentiss Mayor Charley Dumas.