CATEGORY: Pontotoc County

AUTHOR: HILL

PONTOTOC SHERIFF'S WORKERS TESTIFY

By Jane Hill

Daily Journal

PONTOTOC - Employees of the Pontotoc County Sheriff's Department were called before a federal grand jury in Oxford Tuesday to give testimony in an investigation into possible illegal wire tapping practices at the department.

Al Moreton, interim U.S. attorney in Oxford, said his office was conducting an investigation into Sheriff Randy Roberts' administration but that he could make no official comment on the case.

Moreton did say the current investigation was separate and apart from charges of prisoner mistreatment made against the Pontotoc County Jail in civil lawsuits filed last year.

Wednesday's grand jury testimony followed a search of the offices at the Pontotoc County Sheriff's Department in Pontotoc conducted by agents for the Federal Bureau of Investigation who executed federal search warrants Tuesday.

As yet, no indictments have been issued by the grand jury in the case. Testimony given by Pontotoc County residents came during the federal grand jury's regular session.

The federal investigation happens to coincide with an investigation being conducted by the Mississippi State Auditor's Department into the possible misuse of funds in the Pontotoc County Sheriff's Department.

Norman Chronister, spokesman for the auditors office, said Wednesday that an investigation into the Pontotoc County Sheriff's Department is ongoing and that a report as to its nature and findings would not be released until the investigation is complete.

Roberts, who could not be reached for comment Wednesday, is serving his second term as Pontotoc County sheriff.

Pontotoc County supervisors, who oversee the budgeting of the sheriff's department, were attending the Mississippi Association of Supervisors convention in Biloxi Wednesday and could not be reached for comment.

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