Desoto County News

Public Corruption Division created with District Attorney’s office

DeSoto County District Attorney Matthew Barton has announced the creation of the first-ever Public Corruption Division  within the office to build trust in those who hold office and ensure the government is working for its intended purpose.  

“Mississippians deserve to have confidence in those who we elect or are appointed to hold office,” said Barton. “It will be my duty to ensure that confidence is maintained and those who use their position of power for public gain are scrutinized and held accountable to taxpayers.” 

The newly created Public Corruption Division will focus on combating government fraud, waste, bribery, and abuse that violates the law and undermines public trust. The division will also investigate businesses that deceive citizens and steal their hard-earned money through complex financial schemes.  

Public corruption may include, but is not limited to: 

• Bribery: The act of promising, giving, receiving, or agreeing to receive money or some other item of value with the corrupt aim of influencing a public official in the discharge of his official duties. 

• Extortion: The act of using one’s position of power and influence to coerce another individual, public official or entity into providing money, goods, or services through intimidation or undue or illegal  power.  

• Embezzlement: The misappropriation of funds or resources intended for the operation for their office for their personal use or the benefit of others.  

• Fraud: Any activity that relies on deception in order to achieve a gain. Fraud becomes a crime when it is a “knowing misrepresentation of the truth or concealment of a material fact to induce  another to act to his or her detriment”. 

If you know about a breach of trust and/or abuse of power by an elected, appointed, or hired public official, contact the office or submit a complaint in writing to the following address: District Attorney’s Office,  Attn: Public Corruption Division, 365 Losher Street, Suite 210, Hernando, Mississippi 38632.