City’s Graham suspended without pay indefinitely

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Thomas “Barry” Graham, manager of the City of Vicksburg’s TV23 cable channel, was suspended indefinitely without pay Monday by the Vicksburg Board of Mayor and Aldermen in executive session — less than a week after police seized thousands of dollars worth of audio equipment from his home.

Graham, a five-year city employee, has not been arrested or charged in the seized items, which includes speakers, amplifiers, microphones, a lighting system and CDs. He had been on paid leave for the past six weeks, after falling off a ladder on the job and breaking five ribs.

Vicksburg police assisted investigators with the state Auditor’s Office on Wednesday in seizing the equipment from Graham’s home at 307 Goodrum Road. Police Chief Walter Armstrong said investigators believe Graham purchased the equipment with city funds for his personal use and for use in a band. He said the investigation is ongoing.

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Graham had been lead vocalist and keyboard of popular Vicksburg group, The Chill. However, one of the group’s founding members, John Howard Dennis, confirmed that the group had its own audio equipment and had no knowledge of the equipment seized from Graham’s home. Dennis also said Graham would no longer be with the band.

Mayor Paul Winfield said last week the city contacted the state investigators “at least a couple weeks ago,” when it discovered what appeared to be a misappropriation of funds in the TV23 department. He added other city departments and employees are likely included in the investigation. Lisa Shoemaker, spokesman for the auditor’s office, said she could provide no comment on an ongoing investigation.


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