The Mississippi State Auditor's Office confirmed Wednesday an affidavit was sent to the county regarding an investigation of former Monroe County Sheriff Cecil Cantrell, who resigned from office Tuesday effective immediately.
“The Auditor’s office investigated several allegations involving the sheriff, concluded the investigation, and sent an affidavit to the county prosecutor summarizing our findings. Our understanding is the sheriff has resigned as a result,” said Logan Reeves of the department’s public relations office.
Reeves said the investigation was initiated after the state auditor's office received a video earlier this year of a Monroe County Work Center inmate assembling “Re-elect Cantrell Sheriff” campaign signs.
The affidavit, obtained by the Daily Journal Wednesday afternoon, states Cantrell on or about April 12 did unlawfully, willfully and knowingly violate state law 47-5-137 of Mississippi Code, in that he, acting in his official capacity, did unlawfully and knowingly authorize the use of inmate labor within the correctional system under his control to construct personal political campaign signage.
In an interview with the Monroe Journal in July about the video, Cantrell denied any involvement in directing the former inmate to assemble signs and said he didn’t realize anything about the incident.
He told the Monroe Journal he wasn’t aware of it until it was posted to Facebook.