Hinds County official, business owners arraigned for embezzlement

A Hinds County election commissioner and two business owners pleaded not guilty to multiple charges of fraud, embezzlement, bribery and conspiracy during separate arraignments Tuesday in Hinds County Circuit Court.

District 2 election commissioner Toni Johnson, Clinton business owner Cedric Cornelius and Jackson business owner Sudie Jones-Teague had their bonds set at $100,000 and were ordered to wear ankle monitors until trial.

Special Circuit Judge Jess Dickinsonsaid Cornelius, Johnson and Jones-Teague will not be allowed to communicate with each other unless all three of their attorneys are present, such as during preparation for trial.

Attorneys for the defendants asked for the bonds to be reduced, saying their clients can be trusted to return to court. Prosecutors from the Hinds County District Attorney’s office argued the $100,000 unsecured bond was appropriate.

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