Update: Former Parks director accused of conspiracy to embezzle nearly $22K

Herman Peters
Marion Watson
Anthony Stevenson
Schronda Eddins
Staff Writer

Five arrests have now been made in an ongoing embezzlement investigation concerning the city of Starkville's Parks and Recreation Department, with the group accused of embezzling nearly $22,000.

Court documents obtained by the Starkville Daily News through a public records request say former Parks and Recreation Director Herman Peters, 51, conspired with four other employees of the department to embezzle $21,702.50.

The Starkville Police Department said in a press release that 38-year-old Schronda Eddins, of Columbus, turned herself in on Friday for a felony embezzlement warrant, making her the latest person with ties to the Parks and Recreation Department to turn themselves over to police. She was released Friday on $5,000 bond.

Along with Peters, 46-year-old Marion Watson, of Eupora, and 33-year-old Anthony Stevenson, of Starkville, also turned themselves in on Thursday for felony warrants issued for embezzlement.

The complaint alleges Peters allowed and directed Eddins, Stevenson, and Watson to be paid for more hours than they worked.

Court documents say Eddins is accused of embezzling the most among the group, in the amount of $15,200 from January 2015 to November 2017.

Stevenson is accused of embezzling $4,082.50, while Watson is charged with the same offense to the tune of $2,420.

The four charged with embezzlement allegedly did so by signing for more hours than they worked.

Eddins' initial appearance in municipal court is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 26 at 6 p.m.

Peters, Stevenson and Watson were released on $5,000 bond and will appear in Starkville Municipal Court on Monday, Feb. 26. at 6 p.m.

The arrests bring the total up to five Parks and Recreation workers accused in the investigation. It is not known at this time if SPD expects to make more arrests.

Peters was fired by the Starkville Board of Aldermen on Jan. 2, after being placed on unpaid administrative leave along with former administrative assistant Dianne Evans.

Evans turned herself in to the Starkville Police Department on Dec. 29 after a felony warrant was issued for embezzlement.

Court documents say Evans is accused of embezzling $2,000 by virtue of her employment with the Starkville Parks and Recreation Department.