Hinds County election commissioner asking that State Auditor’s Office be removed from her case

Published: Jun. 3, 2022 at 10:42 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - On Friday, a Hinds County election commissioner filed a motion asking that the State Auditor and his office be removed from her case.

You may remember that back in February, Toni Johnson was arrested and charged for her role in an alleged embezzlement.

Johnson is accusing State Auditor Shad White of using her case for personal and political gain.

The motion that was filed states that on February 27, more than a week after she was arrested, the auditor sent an email to his supporters using the arrest of Johnson and two others to raise money for his political action committee called “Friends of Shad White.”

Johnson says her case is still pending, and the emails never stated that she is “presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.”

The election commissioner says this is a violation of state law.

Now she’s asking that White and his office be removed from the case and says this jeopardizes her right to a fair trial.

WLBT reached out to the auditor’s office for a comment.

A spokesperson sent us this statement:

“Ms. Johnson and her attorney are free to make any argument they choose in court.”

At this time, there’s no word on when the court will make a decision on this ruling.

Johnson is accused of fraud, embezzlement, and accepting a bribe.

The former chair of the election commission is facing 26 felony counts after being accused of embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars in grant money awarded to Hinds County through the Center for Tech and Civic Life.

The charges Johnson is facing include two counts of conspiracy of fraudulently obtaining public funds, seven counts of conspiracy to defraud the State of Mississippi, nine counts of fraudulently obtaining public funds, four counts of making false statements or representations, four counts of bribery, and two counts of embezzlement.

Four others have also been arrested in connection to the alleged embezzlement scheme.

Johnson is expected to go to trial at 9 a.m. on October 3 at the Hinds County Courthouse.

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