JACKSON, Miss. – On Tuesday, November 14, 2017, special agents from the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor (OSA) arrested former Biloxi School District Police Chief, Paul Gordon Cannette of Ocean Springs, after he was indicted on one count of embezzlement by a Harrison County grand jury. Cannette was issued a demand of $244,819.78 from OSA, which includes the amount embezzled, interest, and recovery costs.
Cannette embezzled over $150,000 from the Mississippi Association of School Resource Officers (MASRO) while as the sole officer of the organization, which violated the by-laws of that organization. MASRO receives public funds from the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) through the Mississippi Community Oriented Policing in Schools (MCOPS) grant.
State Auditor Stacey Pickering, when speaking about this case said: “This is another instance of an individual violating the trust of a community by embezzlement. This offence is particularly egregious because the stolen funds should have gone toward providing safety to our schoolchildren. My office will continue the fight to recover misspent and, in this case, stolen money on behalf of Mississippi taxpayers.”
Cannette has since resigned from his position as Chief of Police for the Biloxi School District and offices held within MASRO. He was jailed under $50,000 bond.