Ex-deputy clerk indicted on embezzlement charges

Published 12:46 am Thursday, December 18, 2008

State Auditor Stacy Pickering says a former Jones County deputy chancery clerk has been indicted on embezzlement charges.

Pickering, during a news conference in Laurel, said Natalie Brooke Ward was indicted Tuesday by a Jones County grand jury on charges of embezzlement by a public employee and alteration of record.

Ward is accused of diverting funds for personal use. Pickering has issued a demand of $218,024 for funds missing from the county’s Land Redemption Account. Pickering also demanded thousands of dollars in interest and investigative costs.

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Pickering said the alleged crimes occurred between November 2004 and January 2008. Ward resigned as deputy chancery clerk this past February. A spokeswoman for Pickering said she didn’t know if Ward had hired an attorney.