Sheriff's Wages Garnished After Bankruptcy Filing

George County Sheriff George Miller Sr. is paying $2,488 monthly to creditors as part of a bankruptcy filing, court documents show. Miller filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection in April and apparently owes creditors more than $518,000. They also show the garnishment is taken out of his $4,166 monthly paycheck from the county.

Records show the sheriff owes some $488,000 to banks for mortgage loans for residential homes, property, and a truck. Miller also owes credit card companies about $15,000. The court documents state Miller is seeking medical retirement due to heart-related problems.

More than $5,500 of Miller's outstanding debt is for medical costs, according to court records first obtained by The Mississippi Press newspaper in Pascagoula. No petitions have been filed in chancery or circuit court seeking a replacement for Miller on the basis of his inability to perform his duties as sheriff, the paper reported.

Miller, 55, is scheduled to face federal charges in October of threatening a witness and perjury. He faces up to 15 years in prison and a $500,000 fine if convicted. He would also be forced to resign as sheriff.

Miller's change of plea hearing on Aug. 5 was continued after he was admitted to Forrest General Hospital in Hattiesburg for chest pains. Since his indictment last November, Miller has had four trial dates continued due to health problems.

Prosecutors have alleged that Miller threatened bank chairman Jack Ware in a civil trial in which First National Bank of Lucedale was seeking $28 million. Ware was the bank's key witness in the trial in which Miller's son, George Miller Jr., was one of four defendants.

Miller, who had open heart surgery five years ago and a heart catheterization earlier this year, has been on light duty since October. He's been taking medications to treat high blood pressure, a blockage found in one of his coronary vessels and seizures and depression, his doctors said.

Miller was out of his office Thursday and could not be contacted for comment.