Bill revived to stiffen penalty for public theft
A House committee on Monday revived a bill to provide tougher penalties for government officials caught stealing.
Senate Bill 2625 would prevent such officials from having their records wiped clean from a “non-adjudicated” sentence. But the Senate had stripped most of the teeth from the measure, and a House version died without a vote. State Auditor Stacey Pickering had pushed the legislation. Recent articles in The Clarion-Ledger, looking at numerous cases, indicated public officials tend to get off easy when they’re caught with their hands in the till. It showed light sentences, early release, lack of prosecution and expunged records. It also showed cases of agencies hiring convicted felons, then getting burned.
On Monday, House Judiciary Chairman Andy Gipson, R-Braxton, said he supports the measure and that the death of the House version had been an oversight.
“I support this,” Gipson said.