Former Panola Co. administrator accused of defrauding PERS - - Jackson, MS

Former Panola Co. administrator accused of defrauding PERS

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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The former County Administrator of Panola County is ordered to pay back some $292,000 by the Mississippi Auditor's Office.

State Auditor Stacey Pickering said Michael David Chandler allegedly bilked the state public retirement system and overtime pay while serving as a county employee.

The longtime county worker knew how to manipulate the system, according to Pickering.

Chandler retired in 2007 and was collecting retirement benefits.

According to audit investigators, one day after his retirement, Chandler got his same $80,000 job back under contract.

State law requires a 45 day waiting period and half pay.

"We will not allow for our state retirement system to be defrauded in anyway and we will take a very strong stand to make sure we continue to work with PERS staff to protect its reputation, its integrity, and its financial soundness for all the employees that are currently employed and for those who are relying on it for their retirement," said State Auditor Pickering

Pickering says a paper trail and tip helped investigators catch the former Panola County Administrator.

Chandler's case is likely to be turned over to the Panola County District Attorney for Grand Jury action.

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