Circuit clerk’s hearing set for Friday

Published 6:00 am Thursday, January 11, 2007

A discovery hearing in an embezzlement hearing against Circuit Clerk M.L. “Binkey” Vines is scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday.

Vines was served an indictment on charges of 13 counts of embezzlement in September. He pleaded not guilty at his arraignment the next day.

A discovery hearing is aimed at ensuring both parties have complied with research requirements.

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A trial date will also likely be set at that time.

Judge Joe Webster from Coahoma County will preside in the case in the Adams County Courthouse.

Adams County Circuit Judges Lillie Blackmon Sanders and Forrest “Al” Johnson recused themselves from the case, citing of conflicts of interest.

The hearing was originally scheduled to be held in December.

It was rescheduled for Friday after attorneys in the case asked for an extension, Webster said.

The Mississippi Attorney General’s Office is prosecuting the case.

The Mississippi State Auditor’s Office worked with the state attorney general at the start of the case.

Vines allegedly embezzled $228,760 over the 2002-2003 fiscal year.

A 2003 audit found understated fees and a lack of documentation in the circuit clerk’s office.

In past audits, Vines has been cited for bookkeeping problems. According to other findings, Vines did not file required documents with the state and has bounced various checks written to the county.

Each time, he said he would correct the problem.

At the time of the indictment, Attorney General Jim Hood said he thought he would not have a problem obtaining a fair trial in Adams County.

Vines was first elected Adams County circuit clerk in 1999.