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Aberdeen mayor arrested on embezzlement charges

Aberdeen Mayor Maurice Howard was arrested Wednesday by the state on embezzlement charges.

Posted: Oct 30, 2019 7:17 PM
Updated: Oct 31, 2019 9:49 AM

ABERDEEN, Miss. (WTVA) — Aberdeen Mayor Maurice Howard was arrested Wednesday on embezzlement charges.

He's now speaking out about the arrest. Howard says the embezzlement charges are false claims. 

He was arrested at his home around 5:00 p.m. and taken to the Monroe County Jail.

Howard believes the charges stem from work-related trips between 2016 and 2018.

"So what they are trying to say is that I never went on those trips and those are false simply because I've taken people with me on those trips that can verify that I was there," said Howard.

"The mayor has absolutely no access to any type of funds in the municipality, in order for funds to be released to the mayor it has to go through a process," added Howard.

The state auditor's office confirmed the arrest.  Spokesman Logan Reeves said the office would release more information on Thursday morning.

Howard is in his first term as mayor. He's been at odds with aldermen over multiple issues.

Aldermen in April of last year took issue with Howard's use of his city-owned vehicle, which was found parked in Linden, Alabama.

Then in July of last year, aldermen voted to cut the mayor's salary by $15,000.

Just last month, Howard threatened to file a lawsuit because aldermen voted to ban people except law enforcement officers from bringing guns into City Hall.

The mayor wore a gun in a holster during a budget meeting.

Wednesday, Howard bonded out of jail on a $10,000 bond. 

Editor's Note: This article was modified on Thursday, changing "charge" to "charges."

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