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Governor signs bill requiring Dept. of...

Governor signs bill requiring Dept. of Human Services investigators to report fraud to State Auditor

By: Anne Summerhays - April 28, 2022

SB 2338 was signed by Governor Reeves last week.

Last week, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves approved Senate Bill 2338. It requires the Department of Human Services (DHS) Fraud Investigation Unit to report to the State Auditor any suspected civil or criminal violations relating to program fraud, embezzlement, or related crimes.

State Auditor Shad White announced the signing of this bill a day after Nancy and Zach New plead guilty to charges of wire fraud, fraud against the government, and charges of bribery of a public official in Mississippi’s welfare fraud case, the state’s largest ever public embezzlement case.

The legislation states:

In order to carry out the responsibilities of the Fraud Investigation Unit, the investigators may request and receive assistance from all state and local agencies, boards, commissions, and bureaus, including, without limitation, the Department of Revenue, the Department of Public Safety, and all public and private agencies maintaining data banks, criminal or other records that would enable the investigators to make verification of fraud or abuse in violation state or federal statutes.

All records and information shall be confidential and shall be available only to the Fraud Investigation Unit, district or county attorneys, the State Auditor, the Attorney General, and courts having jurisdiction in criminal proceedings. 

Auditor White said the Legislature and Governor Reeves knew this bill was a “common-sense idea.”

“I want to thank Gov. Reeves and legislative leadership, along with Senator Brice Wiggins and Representative Angela Cockerham, who handled the bill. Their hard work ensures that the State Auditor’s office can continue to stop misuse of taxpayers’ money, as we did in the case of the News,” White said.

State Senator Brice Wiggins was one of the lawmakers who played a key role in getting the legislation passed.

“Fighting corruption has always been the name of the game for me. Authoring this bill was appreciated,” Senator Wiggins said.

The legislation will take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2022.

You can view the full text of S.B. 2338 below.

Senate Bill 2338 by yallpolitics on Scribd

About the Author(s)
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Anne Summerhays

Anne Summerhays is a recent graduate of Millsaps College where she majored in Political Science, with minors in Sociology and American Studies. In 2021, she joined Y’all Politics as a Capitol Correspondent. Prior to making that move, she interned for a congressional office in Washington, D.C. and a multi-state government relations and public affairs firm in Jackson, Mississippi. While at Millsaps, Summerhays received a Legislative Fellowship with the Women’s Foundation of Mississippi where she worked with an active member of the Mississippi Legislature for the length of session. She has quickly established trust in the Capitol as a fair, honest, and hardworking young reporter. Her background in political science helps her cut through the noise to find and explain the truth. Email Anne: