The police chief of the Biloxi (Miss.) School District has been indicted on charges that he embezzled more than $150,000 from the Mississippi Association of School Resource Officers.
The Biloxi Sun-Herald reports that Paul Cannette, 48, of Ocean Springs, Miss., has been arrested after a Harrison County grand jury indicted him on one count of embezzlement.
Cannette had led the Biloxi School District’s school resource office for more than a decade. The district has a certified campus police force that operates independently of the city’s police department.
Cannette, a former Biloxi patrol officer and criminal investigator, has since resigned from the campus police job and from his office with the state organization, State Auditor Stacey Pickering says.
“This offense is a particularly egregious because the stolen funds should have gone toward providing safety to our schoolchildren," Pickering says. "My office will continue the fight to recover misspent and, in this case, stolen money on behalf of Mississippi taxpayers.”
The Mississippi Association of School Resource Officers receives public money from the state's Department of Education through a Community Oriented Policing in Schools grant.
Pickering’s office is seeking to have Cannette pay $244,819.78, which would cover the amount of missing money plus interest and costs of the investigation.