Ethics board won’t dismiss indicted member

Published 7:51 pm Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The leaders of a state board that sanctions public officials for ethics violations says for first time in its 26 year history one of its own members is under scrutiny.

Members of the State Ethics Commission say there is no provision to dismiss Anjuan Brown even if the board wanted to.

“Once a person is convicted, he can be removed,” Ethics Commission Chairman Walter Brown said, citing state law.

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Brown, 38, of Greenwood was indicted last month by a Hinds County grand jury on four counts of filing false statements and work hour reports. The charges resulted from an investigation by the state auditor’s office.

Brown once worked for the state Department of Health. He is an employee of the Gaming Commission and a member of the Greenwood Public School District.

The indictment says Brown obtained through deception $1,992.34 from the Ethics Commission, $926.40 from the Health Department, $853.90 from the Greenwood Public School District, and $2,653.69 from the Mississippi Gaming Commission.

“All claims submitted by the said Anjuan Brown were false, known by him to be false, and were intended to deceive,” the indictment states.

Brown’s attorney, Lee Abraham, has said he believes politics are responsible for the charges.

The eight-member state Ethics Commission’s mission is to ensure the highest standards of governmental integrity for Mississippians.

School Superintendent Leslie Daniels said he didn’t know anything about the case or any wrongdoing alleged by Brown.

In June, the auditor’s office demanded Brown pay $11,095.17, which represents the principal, interest and cost associated with the case.

Despite the charges, Brown’s status on the commission hasn’t changed, Executive Director Tom Hood said.

Brown was appointed Nov. 15, 2003, to a four-year term on the commission.