Officials would not divulge the details that led to Liddell’s arrest or the amount of money she is accused of stealing. She had been employed as the Chief Medical Officer for the Mississippi Dept. of Corrections (MDOC) since September 2004.
In May 2008, her last month with the MDOC, Liddell presented the Hinds County Board of Supervisors with a detailed account of the medical budget for county prisoners.
“She presented herself as a true professional,” said Supervisor Peggy Calhoun. “You could tell she’s very intelligent and she knows her field. All the board members were impressed.”
But Liddell’s good impression on the board members wasn’t enough to deter the State Attorney General’s office from investigating her activities while she was employed at the MDOC – an investigation that led to her subsequent arrest. Attorney General Jim Hood said his office’s investigation came at the request of prison officials.
“You’re always disappointed when a person in a position of trust abuses that trust,” said MDOC Commissioner Chris Epps. “We will continue to police ourselves and evaluate our policies and procedures in the Mississippi Department of Corrections.”
If convicted, Liddell faces up to 20 years in prison and a $5,000 fine on each of the 13 counts of embezzlement. She was released on $13,000 bond.
Sources: Associated Press, www.clarionledger.com, www.hattiesburgamerican.com
Update: On December 16, 2009, Liddell pleaded guilty to embezzlement. Hinds County Circuit Court Judge Malcom Harrison sentenced her to 10 years in prison, but suspended eight. The court also imposed a $5,000 fine, $94,745 in restitution to MDOC, and all court costs. Liddell is schedule to begin serving her two-year sentence on January 4, 2010.
As a digital subscriber to Prison Legal News, you can access full text and downloads for this and other premium content.
Already a subscriber? Login