JONESTOWN, Miss. - The mayor of one Mississippi town could be facing 100 years behind bars if convicted of embezzlement charges.
Jonestown Mayor Kenneth Lester was arrested Sunday after state authorities said he embezzled residents’ water bill payments and a city police firearm.
According to the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office, Lester was arrested by the Coahoma County Sheriff’s Department after being indicted by a grand jury on five counts of felony embezzlement.
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Four are related to the accusations of stealing money from residents.
The first indictment alleges that Lester took the money that residents paid for water bills and water line repairs and “converted it for his own use between July 2017 and August 2018.”
In another indictment, Lester is accused of accepting a city-owned handgun from an employee before pawning it for cash while he was mayor.
Lester was booked into the county jail and released on his own recognizance.
If convicted, Lester faces up to 20 years in prison and $5,000 in fines for each embezzlement count.
Lester responded to the charges Tuesday in a Facebook post.
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