Covering Louisiana

Feb 26, 2014 9:47 AM by AP

DeSoto Parish DA's employee arrested

MANSFIELD, La. (AP) - A 12-year employee of the DeSoto Parish District Attorney's office has been arrested on assorted charges related to misappropriation of public funds.

The Times reports 32-year-old Melanie Johnson Barber, of Mansfield, was booked Tuesday on charges of monetary instrument abuse, malfeasance and filing or maintaining false public records.

The district attorney's office said a monthlong investigation by Mansfield police alleges Barber of misappropriated funds from accounts related to worthless check collections and diversion fees.

Police Chief Gary Hobbs estimated the missing funds to be "several thousands of dollars."

District Attorney Richard Z. Johnson Jr. said he would request the Attorney General's office take over prosecution.

It was unclear whether Barber has an attorney.

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