State Auditor Shad White announced former Hinds County Election Commissioner Toni Johnson pled guilty to 2 counts of Embezzlement and 1 count of False Representation & Statements to Defraud the Government. Special Agents from the Auditor’s Office arrested Johnson in February of 2022. The guilty plea was recorded in Judge Dickinson’s courtroom on Monday evening.
Johnson used her position as a member of the Hinds County Election Commission (HCEC) to purchase two 85-inch televisions and personal protective equipment (PPE), which she had delivered to her own home and one other private residence. To conceal this scheme, she purchased smaller, less expensive televisions as “replacements” for the larger televisions purchased by HCEC. Johnson’s demand letter shows she owes $25,893.18 back to taxpayers, which includes interest and investigative costs added to the $16,000 cost of the property HCEC purchased.
“We have a zero-tolerance policy for fraud in my office,” said Auditor White. “I am thankful for the investigators on my team who built this case and the prosecutors who decided to bring charges and successfully brought Ms. Johnson to justice.”
Toni Johnson is now a convicted felon and will never be able to handle public money again. Judge Dickinson’s sentencing order has been filed with the Hinds County Circuit Clerk’s Office for public inspection.
Suspected fraud can be reported to the Auditor’s office online any time by clicking the red button at www.osa.ms.gov or via telephone during normal business hours at 1-(800)-321-1275.