The former police chief of Walls is out on bond after his arrest Wednesday on charges of embezzlement.
Herb Brewer, age 61, was arrested by the DeSoto County Sheriff’s Department and Special Agents with the Mississippi State Auditor’s office, according to a news release from the Auditor’s Office.
Brewer was booked at mid-morning Wednesday and bonded out on $25,000 bond about an hour later. He has an initial court date of March 26 in Circuit Court on the charge.
The former Walls police chief was indicted by a grand jury with District Attorney John Champion issuing a demand letter in the amount of $6,943 at the time of his arrest Wednesday morning. The amount includes interest and investigative costs.
According to White’s office, Brewer is accused of embezzling Walls town money by selling vehicles seized by the police department and keeping the proceeds.
He is accused of selling a Ford Mustang and a Chevrolet Tahoe to members of his own family.
According to the release, by failing to deliver the proceeds from the sale of the cars to the Town of Walls, Brewer allegedly embezzled $1,850 from taxpayers in Walls.
After identifying the bills of sale for the two vehicles, investigators determined Brewer sold the vehicles for less than they were worth, furthering the taxpayer loss by a combined $2,730. This amount – including interest – was added to the demand but is not part of the criminal allegations against him.
“As long as I hold this position, the Auditor’s office will continue to hold officials accountable when they use their offices to benefit themselves or their family,” said Auditor White. “This sort of illegal self-dealing will not be tolerated.”
If convicted, Brewer faces $5,000 in fines and 5 years in prison. All persons arrested by the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. The case will be prosecuted by the District Attorney’s office.
A $50,000 surety bond covers Brewer’s time as police chief in Walls. A surety bond is similar to insurance designed to protect taxpayers from corruption. Brewer will remain liable for the full amount of the demand in addition to criminal proceedings.
Bob Bakken is Managing Editor of the DeSoto Times-Tribune.