A state audit released last week shows $2.9 million was reported embezzled or misspent in fiscal 2014 by state or local officials in Mississippi. The good news is some of the people caught are in jail or on their way to trial. And about half the money has been recovered.
We are glad that those entrusted with tax dollars who decide to embezzle are getting caught. But it appears to us that the penalties are not enough of a deterrence. Maybe too many people are being allowed to repay the money and serve probation. If public employees knew jail was in their future and not a slap on the hand, maybe millions in tax dollars would not be stolen.