Auditor: Former state employee stole $25,000 to pay bills

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi’s state auditor says a former state employee stole nearly $25,000 from his agency to pay personal bills.

Auditor Shad White on Wednesday issued a demand that Chris Smith, former director of accounting and finance for the Mississippi Board of Animal Health, pay nearly $34,000. That includes $24,946 he’s accused of embezzling, plus nearly $5,200 in interest and nearly $3,800 in investigative costs.

White says Smith admitted using a state purchasing card to pay cellphone, satellite television, electric and natural gas bills from April 2015 to July 2018.

The Associated Press couldn’t locate Smith Wednesday.

White, a Republican, says he’s referring the case to Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith for possible prosecution.

The auditor also demands repayment from an insurer who issued a surety bond for Chris Smith.