Admin charged in embezzling case

Published 12:12am Thursday, July 31, 2014

NATCHEZ — The former administrator of Adams County’s Juvenile Justice Center was arrested Wednesday on charges he embezzled payments meant for the county.

Charles Kevin Nations, 48, was booked into the Adams County jail at 4:57 p.m. Wednesday on a charge of embezzlement of property held in trust.

The funds Nations allegedly embezzled were associated with payments to Adams County for housing out-of-county juvenile offenders in the youth detention center, Adams County Board of Supervisors President Darryl Grennell said.

County Administrator Joe Murray discovered the alleged embezzlement, Grennell said.

“Joe discovered we hadn’t received payments, and he asked if we were billing these counties,” Grennell said.

How much money is missing is still unclear, Grennell said, but the board of supervisors met in executive session Wednesday afternoon with Adams County Sheriff Chuck Mayfield and District Attorney Ronnie Harper.

Judge John Hudson, who oversees the county youth court system, attended the meeting by phone. Hudson was in Jackson at the time.

Hudson said the youth court had been involved in its own investigation prior to Wednesday afternoon. Payments for housing out-of-county juveniles were supposed to go through the Adams County bookkeeping office, but never made it there, he said.

“What we knew was there were funds that had not been paid into the county, and we were investigating to see if (other) counties had paid,” Hudson said.

The judge said he was trying to get additional information, and wanted to review the documentation the county officers had in person today.

Hudson said Wednesday’s discussion of Nations was “totally a shock,” and left him feeling devastated.

Hudson said he first came to know Nations when Nations was still a teenager, working as a loss prevention officer for the A&P, and had watched him work his way up as a police officer, court officer, deputy sheriff and youth court administrator.

“I am in the legal profession, and I have to believe in innocent until proven guilty,” Hudson said. “There was nothing on the radar that would indicate something would happen with Kevin.”

Nations reportedly resigned his position at the youth court approximately three weeks ago.

Mayfield could not be reached for comment.