Arraignments set for Hinds County election commissioner, alleged conspirators in embezzlement case
JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - A Hinds County election commissioner and her alleged co-conspirators in an embezzlement and bribery case is expected to be arraigned next week.
Special Circuit Judge Jess Dickinson has set arraignments for 10 a.m., March 8, at the Hinds County Courthouse for Toni Johnson, Cedric Cornelius, and Sudie Jones-Teague.
Johnson, the election commissioner for Hinds County District 2, is accused of using her position to award hundreds of thousands of dollars in contracts to businesses owned by Cornelius and Teague. She also is said to have accepted more than $16,000 in bribe money.
Cornelius is accused of receiving more than $188,000 in contracts from the state for his company, Apogee Group II, for work that was never done. Jones-Teague, meanwhile, received more than $122,000 in county and grant money for her company, New Beginnings LLC, also for work that was never done.
Johnson was indicted by a Hinds County grand jury on 26 felony counts, while Cornelius was indicted on 24 and Jones-Teague was indicted on 10 counts.
The contracts were funded in large part from money awarded to the county by the Center for Tech and Civic Life. The funds were to be used to help keep voters and poll workers safe from COVID-19 during the 2020 elections.
All three were booked following an investigation by the Mississippi State Auditor’s Office and reports filed by WLBT.
Want more WLBT news in your inbox? Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.
Copyright 2022 WLBT. All rights reserved.