DeSoto District Attorney's Office worker arrested, fired - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

DeSoto District Attorney's Office worker arrested, fired

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Melanie Barber, 32 (Source: DeSoto Parish Sheriff's Office) Melanie Barber, 32 (Source: DeSoto Parish Sheriff's Office)
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MANSFIELD, LA (KSLA) -

A DeSoto Parish woman has been arrested and fired from her job as a clerk in the District Attorney's Office after police say she stole public funds.

According to a news release from the DeSoto Parish District Attorney's Office, Mansfield police took 32-year-old Melanie Johnson Barber into custody Tuesday morning for monetary instrument abuse, malfeasance in office and filing or maintaining false public records.

An investigation found that Barber had misappropriated funds from accounts related to worthless check collections and penalties. Authorities say Barber would sign the money orders and cash them at a local business.

Barber was immediately fired after the crimes were discovered, according to the news release. The former employee's actions brought disappointment from DeSoto Parish District Attorney Richard Z. Johnson, Jr. Barber had worked there 12 years.

"Ms. Barber worked for this office a long time; and she gained the trust of supervisors, co-workers, and the public. Our investigation shows that she certainly abused that trust. As a government office, we hold ourselves to a higher standard. Ms. Barber's conduct falls well below those standards and she must answer for her actions," Johnson said.

Johnson has indicated he will ask for the Attorney General's Office to step in and prosecute the case in keeping with ethical mandates, and to avoid the appearance of wrong doing.

More charges could be filed as the investigation continues. No date has been set for Barber's first court appearance.

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