Jones Co. supervisor reindicted on 2021 embezzlement charge
JONES COUNTY (WDAM) - It’s round two for Jones County Supervisor Travares Comegys and Mississippi State Auditor Shad White.
The Jones County Sheriff’s Department arrested Comegys on Monday, Feb. 20, on a re-indictment of a previously dismissed embezzlement charge. He was initially arrested on one count of embezzlement by a public official in November 2021.
White’s office alleges that Comegys used a county-issued vehicle and cell phone to operate his private beauty supply business from July 2020 to April 2021. As a result, the auditor issued a demand letter for $2,794.05 in defrauded funds and an additional $2,794.05 in interest and investigative expenses.
According to court documents, Jones County Judge Dal Williamson dismissed the embezzlement charge without prejudice due to the vague allegations.
“In his Motion, the Defendant argues that the Indictment is ‘insufficient as it fails to state the property owned by Jones County that Mr. Comegys is alleged to have used to defraud Jones County....’” reads the Order of Dismissal. “In failing to name the piece of property he allegedly used to defraud Jones County, the State has not satisfied the ‘constitution requirement’ of informing the Defendant of what he is being accused of doing.”
The Jones County District Attorney’s office could present the same charge to the grand jury a second time since the charges were dismissed without prejudice. This time they reportedly gave additional details to clarify the allegations.
While current Jones County DA Brad Thompson’s office will prosecute the re-indictment, the previous case was charged under the former district attorney, Anthony Buckley.
Thompson’s office declined requests for comment.
If found guilty, Comegys could face up to 10 years in prison or a fine of $5,000, plus any restitution ordered by the judge.
A $100,000 surety bond covers Comegys’ time as a county official. This type of bond protects the state against financial loss due to corruption or criminal activity by a public official. As a result, Comegys will remain liable for the full amount of the auditor’s demand and any expenses incurred during criminal proceedings.
Thomas Fortner, Comegys’ attonrey, provided the following statment.
“Unless he gets convicted of this, he’s perfectly qualified to continue to be an active supervisor, and that’s certaintly what he intends to do. There may be some political background noise on this one. yeah, I think that’s possible. If I end up believing that those are, those type of concerns had influence the state to try to move against Travares Comegys, we’re going to raise those issues in the courtroom too.”
Comegys was booked by the Jones County Sheriff’s Department at 2:45 p.m. on Monday and released at 3:16 p.m. that same day without bond.
Want more WDAM 7 news in your inbox? Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.
Copyright 2023 WDAM. All rights reserved.