Hinds County Chancery Court Judge Dewayne Thomas ruled in favor of the Office of the State Auditor today, ordering former Warren County Circuit Court Clerk Shelly Ashley Palmertree’s bonding company, Western Surety, to pay $300,000 to the taxpayers of Warren County.

Palmertree dismissed her lawsuit against Warren County and the State Auditor. Judge Thomas then entered a judgment against her on March 31, 2015; however, the judgment did not address Western Surety’s liability. In his order Judge Thomas wrote, “The Court finds no merit in Western Surety’s assertions……The law is clear that Western Surety is liable to the State Auditor for the extent of its coverage of Palmertree.”

“The public officials and the companies that insure them will be held accountable to the taxpayers of Mississippi,” said State Auditor Pickering.
Palmertree is currently serving 10 years in custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections, with five years to serve and the remaining five years suspended for embezzlement.

State Auditor Stacey Pickering Press Release