Monroe sheriff, clerk: No misuse of funds

ABERDEEN – Monroe County Sheriff Andy Hood did not misuse county funds on a recent convention trip in Gulfport, the chancery clerk said Thursday.
Allegations about payment for the trip arose after photos were posted anonymously on monroe360.com showing Hood, who is married, and another woman posing together around a swimming pool and on the beach in June.
The photos belonged to the woman, Tina Laurenzi of Tupelo, who said they “were never meant to be seen by anyone other than myself. These photos got in the wrong hands.”
In separate statements, Laurenzi acknowledged that she and Hood “had a relationship” and the sheriff said “this was a regrettable mistake on my part.” Both apologized for their actions.
But Hood, Laurenzi and Chancery Clerk Ronnie Boozer said no financial wrongdoing was involved in the sheriff’s trip to the Mississippi Sheriff’s Association Summer Conference.
“The Monroe County Board of Supervisors authorized him to attend the conference in question,” said Boozer. “He has submitted his reimbursement request and everything is in order – there is nothing questionable about his request.”
“Other than that,” said Boozer, “it is not up to the Monroe County Board of Supervisors to tell a grown man how to act when he is traveling.”

Jeff Clark/Monroe Journal