Former Mississippi Court Clerk Found Dead In Georgia, Suicide Suspected

Former Madison County Chancery Clerk Steve Duncan, who was indicted last week on embezzlement charges, has been found dead in a car in Georgia.

Gwinnett County Police Department spokesman Ray Dunlap says preliminary results of an autopsy indicate Duncan took his own life by consuming antifreeze.

Dunlap says Duncan was found about 3 a.m. Wednesday in a vehicle in the county northeast of Atlanta.

Duncan resigned from numerous positions, including his clerk post and his job as Madison County Medical Center administrator, in August, 2001. According to a statement released today by Mississippi Attorney General Mike Moore's office, Duncan was facing an indictment on embezzlement charges related to money he received as county administrator, purchase clerk, and records restoration clerk from 1998 to 2000.

An audit found Duncan wrote checks to himself totaling 60-thousand dollars. Investigators were looking into allegations he transferred money from a county reserve fund to keep the county hospital afloat without telling supervisors.

Duncan had been the highest paid public official in the state in 1999.

Dunlap says an investigation will continue into the death because of the unusual circumstances -- including the fact that the body was in the back seat. He says a toxicology report is needed to confirm the cause of death because Duncan had apparently attempted suicide before.