Jonestown Mayor Arrested on 5 Counts of Embezzlement
The mayor of the City of Jonestown, located in Coahoma County, is facing 100 years in prison after being arrested Sunday on charges for allegedly embezzling residents’ water bill payments and a city police firearm, announced Attorney General Jim Hood.
Kenneth Lester was arrested by the Coahoma County Sheriff’s Department following his indictment by a Coahoma County grand jury on five counts of felony embezzlement, four of those related to allegedly stealing money. The first indictment alleges that Lester, while serving as mayor, took the money residents paid for water bills and water line repairs and converted it for his own use between July 2017 and August 2018. A separate indictment alleges that Lester accepted a city-owned Glock Model 22.40 caliber handgun from an employee and pawned it for cash while he was the acting mayor of Jonestown.
Lester was booked into the Coahoma County Jail and released on his own recognizance. If convicted, Lester faces up to 20 years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines on each count. A charge is merely an accusation, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
This case was investigated by Kenneth West with the AG’s Public Integrity Division. The case will be prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Brad Oberhousen.