Miss. Sheriff Resigns, Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

September 14, 2006

Lincoln County, Miss., Sheriff Wiley Calcote resigned Tuesday and pleaded guilty to a single state charge of embezzlement.

Calcote, who was in his first term, was indicted on 15 counts of embezzlement by a public official last month. His resignation and guilty plea were part of a plea deal.

The Lincoln County Board of Supervisors named investigator Steve Rushing sheriff. He is expected to serve the rest of Calcote’s term, which ends in January 2008.

Calcote was sentenced to two years’ probation and must pay $895 in restitution for taking 321 gallons of diesel fuel given to the county after Hurricane Katrina and using it in his personal truck and tractor.

Twelve other felony counts and two misdemeanors were dismissed. The deal brought a quick resolution to the case, District Attorney Dee Bates said.

“I believe this plea is by far what is in the best interest of Lincoln County,” Bates said.

Calcote was charged with nine counts of embezzlement by a public official, two counts of failure to confine inmates, two counts of tampering with a witness and one count each of wire fraud and insurance fraud.

The two counts of failure to confine inmates were misdemeanors.

Calcote can clear his record if he meets the requirements of the deal and follows the terms of his probation.

He did not speak with reporters Tuesday. He entered the plea in Circuit Court.

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