District Attorney Joel Smith announced today that 42-year-old Dana Sue Beaman of Bay St. Louis, MS pled guilty yesterday to two counts of Embezzlement by Public Employee before Judge Roger Clark at the Hancock County Courthouse.
The investigation began in May 2011 when former Hancock County Justice Court Clerk Elizabeth Martin discovered errors in the filing of court documents. This led to an inquiry by Ms. Martin with the assistance of the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office where Beaman admitted to taking the public funds. The Office of the State Auditor was then contacted, and they assumed the investigation into the matter. Over a six-year period, the Auditor’s Office reviewed over 45,000 records finding over 440 discrepancies associated with Beaman’s handling of payments in Hancock County Justice Court cases. These discrepancies were confirmed by numerous witnesses that were interviewed and identified Beaman as the clerk that received their payments. “The Auditor found that $110,827.50 was taken by Beaman over the course of approximately three years. At this time, $100,000.00 of the loss has been returned to the county due to public employee insurance which covered Beaman,” said ADA Chris Daniel, who prosecuted the case.
Circuit Court Judge Roger Clark deferred sentencing to December 19, 2019 in Bay St. Louis and ordered a presentence investigation which will be conducted by the Mississippi Department of Corrections.