Former Jones Co. Fire Council president charged with two counts of embezzlement

Published: Sep. 1, 2021 at 9:17 PM CDT
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JONES COUNTY, Miss. (WDAM) - Former Jones County Fire Council president William Lee Garrick is charged with two counts of embezzlement following his initial appearance in court Wednesday.

Members of several Jones County fire departments made their presence known Wednesday at Garrick’s initial appearance in Jones County Justice Court.

“Today is the start of the healing process for the fire service,” said Dan McKenna, Glade Fire Chief. “Today’s the day justice was served. And you can see today we let him know strongly that we are not supporting him by any means at all.”

Garrick, who is also the former fire chief of the Calhoun Volunteer Fire Department, is charged with two counts of embezzlement after he was arrested and accused of embezzling funds from the Jones County Fire Council.

“He robbed every fire department in this county of credibility in one sweep of what he did,” McKenna said. “He robbed those departments that were saving their funds to buy life-saving equipment for the citizens of Jones County.”

During his court appearance, Garrick requested a public defender saying he could not afford an attorney. However, that doesn’t add up in the eyes of McKenna.

“How could he not afford one? He took $400,000 at least from the fire council. Where did that money go?” McKenna said.

Although an official amount has not yet been released, McKenna says the bottom line is, the funds were meant for the safety of Jones County residents.

“For the residents in the county... it’s important that they understand this was one individual that wronged us,” McKenna said.

Moving forward, McKenna says he wants Garrick’s case to serve as precedent for others who may try and do the same thing.

“Justice for the fire council and justice for the citizens. This needs to serve as an example,” McKenna said.

Garrick’s bond is set at $60,000, and he remains incarcerated in the Jones County Jail.

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