Ex-chief accused of cashing in on confiscated cars

Published 1:05 pm Thursday, February 20, 2020

(AP) — A former police chief in a small north Mississippi town was arrested Wednesday on a charge accusing him of selling confiscated vehicles to his family, then pocketing the cash.
A DeSoto County grand jury indicted Herb Brewer last week on an embezzlement charge. Brewer kept $1,850 from sales of a 2007 Ford Mustang and a 2002 Chevrolet Tahoe, State Auditor Shad White said in a news release Wednesday.
The auditor’s demand letter for $6,940 also alleges that Brewer undercharged the buyers for a total of $2,730, although that amount is not part of the criminal charge, the statement said. The demand letter’s total also includes interest and investigation charges.
The letter is a civil action, and “the criminal charges do not just go away” if Brewer pays the total, said Logan Reeves, a spokesman for White.
He said it was not immediately clear whether Brewer has an attorney who could speak for him.
Brewer, 61, was police chief in Walls, a town of about 1,500, from December 2014 to February 2019. Town officials reported irregularities after Brewer’s resignation, Reeves said.
The news release said Brewer surrendered to special agents from the Office of the State Auditor at the DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office. A bond amount was not immediately set.
The maximum penalty for embezzlement is five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

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