Ex-sheriff’s bond company being sued for missing funds
By Jane Hill
JACKSON – After a breakdown in negotiations with former Calhoun County Sheriff Billie Hitt, the state attorney general’s office is continuing to pursue civil ligation for the return of almost $19,000 in allegedly misappropriated funds.
Jim Steele, director of civil litigation for the Mississippi attorney general’s office, said the exact status of the case against Hitt cannot be released, but that the state would likely seek a settlement from Hitt’s bond company.
The lawsuit concerns a demand made on Hitt by the Mississippi Audit Department for $18,964.
The demand was made as a result of a special audit of Calhoun County’s records completed in the summer of 1995. The audit focused on a contract between the federal government and the county to provide security on Grenada Lake as well as other operations in the county sheriff’s department.
According to state law, once the Audit Department makes a demand for the the return of misused or misappropriated funds, the official involved has 30 days in which to respond to the demand. Since Hitt made no response in the allotted time, the case was turned over to the attorney general’s office for litigation, said Norman Chronister, spokesman for the state Audit Department.
Steele said his attorneys were working with Hitt for the return of the money, but that the negotiations “proved unfruitful.”
“We are proceeding against his bond company,” Steele said. “The amount in question is covered by his bond.”
Steele did not rule out the possibility of a later settlement but said at this point his office is continuing with the suit.
Hitt could not be reached for comment Thursday.