Man accused of embezzling funds from Jones County Fire Council

Pine Belt

JONES COUNTY, Miss. (WHLT) – A man, who has been accused of embezzling funds from the Jones County Fire Council, will appear in court on Wednesday, September 1.

William Lee Garrick, who served as president of the Jones County Fire Council before being removed from his position, has been charged with two counts of embezzlement. He was booked into the Jones County Adult Detention Center on Tuesday, August 31. At this time, he has been given no bond.

According to the Laurel Leader Call, Garrick is accused of taking as much as $400,000 from the Jones County Fire Council account. Investigators said he also embezzled funds from the Calhoun Volunteer Fire Department where he was Fire Chief before being removed from his position there as well.

The Jones County Fire Council released the following statement about Garrick’s arrest.

The Jones County Fire Council is deeply saddened to report that Lee Garrick, former President of the Fire Council, has been arrested, accused of embezzling money from the county’s fire service.  

To think of one of our leaders taking funds meant for the protection of the county is unthinkable and unconscionable.  Those actions, if proved true, have single handedly caused a breach of trust between the citizens of Jones County and the volunteer firefighters who work so hard to protect them with no thought of compensation.  

The Fire Council is in the process of reorganizing, replacing the former officers with new officers as of August 10, 2021, and taking steps to make certain this never happens again.  We also continue to work with the Jones County Board of Supervisors to come up with a plan for fire service in the county.
Leaders, community servants and those in positions of trust have gone astray before. 

This time, it is in our house.  For that, the Council remains truly sorry. The Council will continue to do all it can to make the citizens, fire departments, and firefighters whole and earn back the trust we lost from each of you.  Additionally, we will continue to work with each law enforcement agency involved in the investigation, to ensure that the person responsible will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.  

Dana Bumgardner, Public Information Officer for Jones County Fire Council

Garrick will have his initial appearance in the Jones County Justice Court in Ellisville on Wednesday at 1:00 p.m.

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