Hinds County Election Officer Pleads Guilty to Misuse of Non-profit Funds
A Hinds county election official has pleaded guilty to misappropriating funds received from Mark Zuckerberg’s non-profit. District Two election commissioner, Toni Johnson pleaded guilty to embezzlement Monday. The state auditor’s office says Johnson used Covid19 funds to purchase two 85-inch televisions and personal protective equipment, she had delivered to her personal address. Johnson waited until the last minute to make the plea deal. Her plea came after jury selection for her trial got under way. With the plea, she eludes what could have been decades of jail time. In exchange for her plea, the state is recommending Johnson be sentenced to 20 years with 15 suspended and five served in a supervised probation program. She will also have to pay restitution. According to the state auditor's office, Johnson, used COVID-19 funds from the Center for Tech and Civic Life, a nonprofit organization funded by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. The Hinds County District Attorney prosecuted the case.