Former Starkville parks director pleads guilty to defrauding state

 

Herman Peters

Herman Peters

 

 

Alex Holloway

 

The contents of this article have been modified since its original posting.

 

Former Starkville Parks and Recreation Director Herman Peters has pleaded guilty for his role in an embezzlement case that saw multiple former parks employees and contractors arrested in 2017 and 2018. 

 

Peters, 53, pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to defraud the state on Monday in Oktibbeha County Circuit Court. 

 

Mississippi 16th Circuit Judge Lee Howard issued Peters a 5-year suspended sentence in the Mississippi Department of Corrections, five years of probation and a $750 fine. 

 

Starkville aldermen fired Peters on Jan. 2 after placing him on unpaid administrative leave in late December. Starkville Police Department arrested him on Jan. 18. That same day, police also arrested former parks employees Schronda Eddins, Anthony Stevenson and Marion Watson. Diane Evans, a former parks and recreation administrative assistant, was arrested on Dec. 29.  

 

Peters was accused of conspiring with Evans to pay Watson, Stevenson and Eddins for more hours than they worked between January 2015 and November 2017. 

 

Evans was sentenced to a 5-year suspended sentence, five years of probation, a $1,000 fine and $40,702 in restitution in January. Stevenson was also sentenced to a 5-year suspended sentence, five years of probation, a $1,000 fine and $23,505 in restitution. 

 

Eddins, who has previously been convicted for false pretense in Lowndes County, was sentenced in January to five years in prison, five years of post-release supervision, five years of probation and to pay $15,200 in restitution. 

 

Watson has not been convicted or sentenced.

 

 

 

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