Ex-mayor of Sunflower gets fine, probation

Published 11:29 am Friday, November 16, 2012

The former mayor of Sunflower was sentenced today to three years’ probation for stealing designer purses from Dillard’s at the Vicksburg Mall.

Michael Pembleton, 417 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave., Sunflower, pleaded guilty before Circuit Judge M. James Chaney and was sentenced to three years’ probation, a $1,000 fine and $384.50 in costs.

Pembleton’s trial had originally been set for Nov. 26 before he pleaded guilty.

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“They basically caught him red-handed,” Assistant District Attorney Lane Campbell said.

No restitution was required because all the property was recovered. Pembleton did not make a statement.

Pembleton was arrested March 13 at the store while he was loading 23 designer purses with a combined value of $7,185 into the back of his vehicle. At the time of his arrest, Pembleton was working as an assistant manager at Dillard’s.

Pembleton was indicted in July, but remained mayor of the small Delta town of about 700 residents about 100 miles north of Vicksburg until Oct. 9 when he resigned. A special election to replace him is set for Dec. 4.

Elected mayor at 22, Pembleton claimed on his Facebook web page to be the youngest mayor ever elected in the state, but that claim could not be verified because Mississippi Municipal League does not keep records on the ages of elected officials.

He launched a bid for District 31 state representative in 2011 but finished fourth in a five-person race. During his campaign, Pembleton reported spending no money, according to the Secretary of State’s Office.