State Auditor Returns Property Worth $300,000 to Surplus Property Following City of Bassfield Investigation

(Jackson, Miss.) State Auditor Stacey Pickering announced today that 22 pieces of property and equipment improperly obtained by the City of Bassfield have been returned to the State of Mississippi. Earlier this year, special agents with the State Auditor’s Office investigated the purchase of 22 items from the State’s Surplus Property Division by the City of Bassfield. Items purchased through Surplus Property must be used for local and state government purposes. The investigation determined the items were purchased by the City but were intended and later converted to personal use. Items include multiple boats, travel trailers and heavy equipment. Property is valued at $309,228. The City of Bassfield purchased the property and equipment at government discounts for a total of $52,840.

“Our agents, along with the staff of Surplus Property and the City of Bassfield, have been able to recover 22 items from the individuals who were using them for personal use and return to the State of Mississippi,” said State Auditor Stacey Pickering. “This case has been turned over to the District Attorney, and we appreciate their efforts in actively working this case.”

The Surplus Property Program was organized in 1946 and has the authority to acquire surplus goods from both the Federal and the State Government and allow these items to be utilized by local and state government entities. The program saves tax dollars by supplying good property to local and state government entities at a low cost. Items range from office furnishings to heavy equipment, vehicles and aircraft.

State Auditor Stacey Pickering Press Release
10/9/12