Officials from Forrest County Circuit Court have passed to inactive files the false pretense case against former Hattiesburg City Council Ward 1 candidate Ken Chambers.
According to court documents filed Aug. 17, officials were unable to prove the case against Chambers by a reasonable doubt, and an agreement has been made that Chambers and Latasha Walters – who accused Chambers of fraud on Cash App – will have no contact with each other.
“Clearly, when they looked at the case, there was nothing there,” Chambers said. “I’m glad that the matter has been settled, and that everybody just can move forward from here.”
Chambers, 34, was taken into custody by the Forrest County Sheriff’s Office on March 8. He was arrested on a capias, which is a bench warrant for arrest that orders the sheriff’s department to arrest an individual and bring him or her before a judge.
According to a grand jury indictment, which was issued Sept. 8, 2020, Chambers “did unlawfully, willfully, feloniously, and intentionally cheat and defraud Latasha Walters, designedly by a false pretense … to access her bank account proceeds on deposit using Cash App.” The indictment states that Chambers presented himself as if he were Walters, without authority or permission, and obtained $500 or more from her account.
In April, Chambers requested a motion of discovery – or any plea offer or other form of relief – regarding the felony false pretense charge.
Chambers, a Democrat, unsuccessfully ran against incumbent Ward 1 Councilman Jeffrey George in the recent municipal elections. Before the election, George filed suit against Chambers, alleging that Chambers was not a resident of Hattiesburg or Ward 1, and was therefore unqualified to run for the seat.
Shortly after George’s suit, Chambers filed a response to George’s allegations.
According to Chambers' response, which was filed March 22, George's suit - which states that Chambers has not been a resident of the City of Hattiesburg or Ward 1 for the required two years preceding the day of the primary election - failed to state a claim for which relief can be granted. Chambers provided several pieces of evidence in the response, including multiple lease agreements showing his addresses in Hattiesburg over the last five years.
The court later ruled that Chambers was a legitimate resident of the city, and he was allowed to run in the primary and general elections.
Chambers recently was appointed to the Hattiesburg Police Citizen Review Board, a nine-member committee designed to work with acting Police Chief Peggy Sealy on matters such as procedures, training programs and standards of the Hattiesburg Police Department. He represents the NAACP on the review board.