State Auditor Shad White issued a statement on Jones County Beat 5 Supervisor Travares Comegys.
"Today State Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from his office have arrested Jones County District 5 Supervisor Travares Comegys after he was indicted for embezzlement by a local grand jury," said the statement from Jackson.
According to White, a $5,719.24 demand letter was presented to Comegys upon his arrest. The demand amount includes interest and investigative expenses.
Comegys is accused of using a county-issued vehicle and cell phone to operate a beauty supply business for his own personal benefit from July 2020 to April 2021.
"In addition to traveling to multiple salons and barbershops outside Jones County, Comegys allegedly used his Jones County-owned vehicle on a trip to the New Orleans airport. Comegys also purportedly used his county-owned cell phone almost exclusively to operate his personal business," said Auditor White.
“Using taxpayer resources or property for your personal benefit is not allowed,” said Auditor White. “This message should be clear to every elected official in the state by now. The credit for this case, as always, goes to the hard-working men and women of the Office of the State Auditor.”
Comegys was arrested by Special Agents and transported to the Jones County Sheriff’s office this morning.
Comegys bond was set a $5,000. He was released on bond at 1:31 p.m.
If convicted on all counts, Comegys faces up to 10 years in prison and $5,000 in fines. All persons arrested by the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
The case will be prosecuted by the office of District Attorney Anthony Buckley.
A $100,000 surety bond covers Comegys’s time as a member of the Jones County Board of Supervisors. Surety bonds are similar to insurance designed to protect taxpayers from corruption. Comegys will remain liable for the full amount of the demand in addition to criminal proceedings.
"Using taxpayer resources or property for your personal benefit is not allowed. This message should be clear to every elected official in the state by now. The credit for this case, as always, goes to the hard-working men and women of the Office of the State Auditor," added Auditor White.
According to the Board of Supervisors, Comegys maintains his position at this time.
"Suspected fraud can be reported to the Auditor’s office online any time by clicking the red button on the Auditor's website or via telephone during normal business hours at 1-(800)-321-1275," added the office.
Jones County Beat 5 Supervisor Travares Comegys has been charged with embezzlement according to officials with the Jones County Sheriff's Department.
On March 2, 2021, Investigators with the State Auditor's Office showed up at Comegys' business - JC Beauty Supply - where they appeared to seize items from the business.
At the time, spokespersons from the Auditor's Office could not confirm or deny that an investigation was taking place.
In an incident tied to Beat 5, on July 20, Auditor Shad White announced special agents from his office arrested Jones County District 5 Road Foreman Roland Graham and Larry Barnes. Graham was indicted for fraud or embezzlement and conspiracy to defraud the state, and Barnes was indicted for conspiracy to defraud the state by a grand jury assembled by District Attorney Anthony Buckley.
Graham was arrested at the Beat 5 work barn in Jones County, and Barnes was arrested in Covington County.
Laurel Impact has reached out to an official with the Auditor's Office for a comment and the story will be updated if a response is given.