Today State Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from his office have arrested former Secretary/Treasurer of the Oloh Fire Protection District Jessica Delancey after she was indicted for embezzlement by a grand jury assembled by District Attorney Hal Kittrell. At the time of arrest, Delancey was issued a $100,294.59 demand letter which includes interest and investigative costs.
Delancey began work with the Oloh Fire Protection District in Lamar County in 2012 under contract to receive a monthly payment of $100 and $50 per diem each time the fire protection board met. After account discrepancies were reported by the Lamar County Board of Supervisors, Auditor’s office investigators determined Delancey wrote checks to herself for $68,719.59 more than she was owed.
Jessica Delancey was able to embezzle this money from February 2013 to July 2018 because she was allowed unsupervised access to the fire protection district’s accounts.
“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 Auditor 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 covered by a $50,000 surety bond during her time at the Oloh Fire Protection District. This bond acts as a form of insurance to help recover stolen public funds on behalf of Mississippi taxpayers.
Jessica Delancey was released from Lamar County jail after posting bail of $10,000 on Friday. If convicted for embezzlement, Delancey faces up to 20 years in prison and a $25,000 fine. All persons arrested by the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
The arrest of Delancey was the second arrest by the Auditor’s office involving the Oloh Fire Protection District in the last six months. In October, Delancey’s predecessor, Michelle Barefoot, was arrested and issued a $40,693.84 embezzlement demand.
Public corruption can be reported to the Office of the State Auditor online any time by clicking the red “Report Fraud” button at www.osa.ms.gov or via telephone during normal business hours at 1-(800)-321-1275.
State Auditor Shad White Press Release