Mississippi ethics board member resigns after resolving criminal case

Published 4:34 pm Thursday, October 12, 2006

A Mississippi Ethics Commission member, who was indicted on criminal charges earlier this year, resigned from the board on Wednesday.

Ethics Commission Executive Director Tom Hood said Anjuan Brown of Greenwood resigned after he resolved his criminal case.

Brown was indicted in June 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.

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

Hood said Wednesday the eight-member board could not force Brown to resign after the indictment because there is no provision in state law that allows it.

“That’s up to the Legislature,” Hood said. “It happens, and it’s not infrequently, that a person in a public office is accused of wrongdoing and cannot be removed unless they’re convicted.”

Greenwood attorney Lee Abraham, who represented Brown, said a judge remanded the charges and his client repaid all the public funds demanded by the auditor’s office.

Abraham said Brown repaid the money against his advice “for the benefit of his family and the respect of the Ethics Commission.”

The indictment said Brown obtained through deception $1,992 from the Ethics Commission, $926 from the Health Department, $853 from the Greenwood Public School District, and $2,653 from the Mississippi Gaming Commission. He was accused of falsifying mileage reimbursement vouchers.

The auditor’s office demanded Brown pay $11,095, which represented the principal, interest and cost associated with the case.

“It is appropriate that Anjuan Brown resign from the Ethics Commission. His irresponsible actions have clearly disqualified him from this important position,” State Auditor Phil Bryant said in an e-mail statement.