Audit of Mississippi Department of Human Services reveals millions of dollars wasted

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State Auditor Shad White today says millions of dollars from the Mississippi Department of Human Services were misspent, converted to personal use, spent on family members and friends of staffers and grantees, or wasted.

The 100 plus page audit of DHS shows massive sums were funneled to grantees like the Mississippi Community Education Center and the Family Resource Center of North Mississippi, two nonprofits.

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Those grantees were given over $98 million in DHS grants over the last three years, mostly from the program Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.

The audit’s formal finding is that over $94 million of that grant money has been ‘questioned’ meaning auditors either saw clear misspending or could not verify the money had been lawfully spent.

Back in February 2020, six people were arrested in what’s being called the largest public embezzlement case in state history.

Among the suspects are former DHS Director John Davis. The others arrested include former DHS employee Latimer Smith, Brett DiBaise, and several officials with Mississippi’s Community Education Center including the director Dr. Nancy New, the assistant executive director Zach New, and the accountant Anne McGrew.