Former fire dept. treasurer indicted

Published 10:19 am Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The former treasurer of the Bogue Chitto Volunteer Fire Department will be in Lincoln County Circuit Court Thursday to answer charges that she took money from the VFD’s bank account for personal use, court records show.

Helen Jean Mercier, 68, was arrested Aug. 31 on charges of embezzlement. She was released from Lincoln County jail on a $10,000 bond on Sept. 1.

Helen Jean Mercier

Helen Jean Mercier

Mercier is the wife of former Bogue Chitto Fire Chief Sedgie Mercier. The position of treasurer is elected from within the department, according to current Fire Chief Blake Wallace, who took over the department in 2016.

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The Aug. 26 indictment alleged that Mercier “did willfully, unlawfully and feloniously covert to her own use money that belonged to the Bogue Chitto Community Volunteer Fire Department.”

According to the indictment, Mercier used the money to “pay her personal debts.”

Wallace declined to comment on how much money was taken, but did say it would be a significant burden on the department’s finances.

Lincoln County Sheriff Steve Rushing said he did not know how much money was allegedly taken since the district adttorney’s office investigated the case.

Mercier’s initial court appearance is currently scheduled for Thursday at 9 a.m.