Chancery Judge Indicted On Embezzlement Charges

Harrison County Chancery Judge Wes Teel has been indicted on embezzlement charges.

Teel is one of three judges under investigation for questionable office expenses. He was arrested and booked at the Harrison County Jail on Thursday afternoon, and was later released on bond.

Teel faces 13 counts of felony embezzlement. Investigators allege Teel embezzled state funds totaling nearly $3,800. He was allegedly buying office supplies and equipment and other services and submitting vouchers to the state for reimbursement. Investigators say instead of paying for the expenses, Teel allegedly pocketed the money.

The state attorney general and state auditor spent eight months investigating the expenses claimed by Wes Teel and two other chancery court judges, senior Chancellor R.N. Randall and Judge Tom Teel, Wes Teel's brother.

Randall has agreed to reimburse the state of nearly $3,700. Tom Teel will pay back more than $8,400. Both face a deadline of 5 p.m. Friday to repay the state.

Randall and Tom Teel will retire at the end of this year. Their terms are set to end next year. Because they are leaving office and repaying the state funds, Randall and Tom Teel will not face any criminal charges.

Attorney General Mike Moore said the state plans to bring the case against Judge Wes Teel to trial as soon as possible. If convicted on all 13 counts of embezzlement, Wes Teel could face up to 84 years in prison and paya $29,000 fine.