By Errol Castens/NEMS Daily Journal
NEW ALBANY – The State Auditor’s Office says Union County Coroner Mark Golding resigned Thursday amidst an investigation over alleged fiscal improprieties.
Special agents from the state agency claim Golding committed embezzlement when he allegedly issued false claims and invoices to Union County. The claims reportedly came from his death investigations within Union County and payment for that work.
Investigators allege that Golding submitted false invoices to the Union County Board of Supervisors, which pays those claims.
Audit agents say they seized a $5,000 check on Wednesday from the Union County Chancery Clerk’s Office as evidence in their case against Golding.
Union County Sheriff Jimmy Edwards said Thursday evening that he was aware of the investigation but could not confirm whether Golding had resigned or had been arrested.
“I’m assuming he will resign and that he will be arrested,” he said.
Golding recently resigned from the New Albany Police Department after more than 20 years on the force after losing the election for Chief of Police to fellow officer Chris Robertson.
Deputy Coroner Baron Baker confirmed the ongoing investigation but declined to comment further.
Neither Golding nor Deputy Coroner John Anderson returned calls to the Daily Journal Thursday.
State Auditor Stacey Pickering noted in a prepared statement that this type of investigation is one of his office’s major duties.
“This is a great example of our auditors uncovering fraud, waste, and abuse during the standard audit process,” Pickering said. “We will continue to hold elected officials accountable in order to protect the taxpayers of Mississippi.”