5 Arrested In Starkville Embezzlement Scandal


STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI)- New developments in an embezzlement scandal within the Starkville Parks and Recreation Department. Another person has turned herself in after a warrant was issued.

5 Starkville Parks and Recreation employees are at the center of the embezzlement investigation. One of those, the former director who’s being charged with Conspiracy of Embezzlement of over $21,000.

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Mayor Lynn Spruill says red flags went up after supervisors noticed names of people getting paid, that they didn’t recognize.

Affidavits show that over $21,000 was embezzled from January 2015 to November of 2017.

Mayor Lynn Spruill confirmed an internal investigation in December at which point, Administrative Assistant Diane Evans and Director, Herman Peters were placed on unpaid administrative leave.

Days later, a warrant was issued for Evans for Embezzlement.

Evans and Peters were the only two full time employees facing these charges, according to Mayor Spruill. The others are 1099 or part time employees.

During Starkville Alderman’s first meeting of 2018, alderman fired Peters as the parks and recreation director.

Thursday, Peters, Anthony Stevenson and Marion Watson turned themselves in.

Today a 5th person in the case turned herself in to police.

Schronda Eddins, is accused of embezzling $15,200.

Affidavits show that Stevenson, Watson and Eddins signed for more hours than they worked or knowingly accepted payment.

Former parks and recreation director, Herman Peters is facing the conspiracy charge after an affidavit states he plotted to get the other 4 employees to commit embezzlement.

Mayor Spruill says it isn’t about the money, but the trust that could have been violated.

“In the scheme of things that’s not that much, but as it matters to the public trust, it’s a whole lot. So, it matters greatly that we pay attention to those things, put proper procedures in place, so we don’t put ourselves in that position again,” said Spruill.

All our out on a $5,000 bond.

The incident, police say is still under investigation.

Mayor Spruill Says that Evans and Peters are the only two full time employees facing these charges.

Herman Peters
Anthony Stevenson
Marion Watson
Dianne Evans