- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 13, 2014

BILOXI, Miss. (AP) - A plea hearing is scheduled May 28 in Harrison County Circuit Court for former Mississippi Department of Marine Resources employee Grant Larsen.

The Sun Herald reports (https://bit.ly/1hIUKqV ) Larsen was scheduled for trial Monday before Judge Lisa Dodson, who continued the case for the plea hearing.

Larsen initially pleaded not guilty in December to a charge of embezzling $821 the state reimbursed him, allegedly after he filed a travel voucher for expenses he did not actually incur.

Larsen was one of five DMR employees arrested on state embezzlement charges in November.

The trials of former DMR employees Leslie Gollott and Kerwin Cuevas have already been continued at their request. Court records showed Cuevas wanted more time to prepare for trial. Gollott did not list a reason.

Also charged in the case were Susan Perkins, a former DMR public relations specialist, and Tina Shumate, who headed the agency’s Office of Coastal Resource Management and Planning.

A simultaneous federal investigation netted former DMR Executive Director Bill Walker, Walker’s son, businessman Scott Walker, former DMR Chief of Staff Joe Ziegler and Shumate.

Bill and Scott Walker have pleaded guilty in the federal case and await sentencing. Shumate and Ziegler have maintained their innocence and are scheduled for separate trials in U.S. District Court in Hattiesburg, with Judge Keith Starrett presiding.


Information from: The Sun Herald, https://www.sunherald.com

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