As Vivian Burnett begins her term as the new mayor of Jonestown there is controversy about severance pay for former mayor Kenny Lester, who was forced to resign after pleading guilty to four counts of embezzlement in July. Speaking before the city council earlier this month Lester said the board voted to give him $3200 in severance pay but later reversed its decision. Alderman Gregory Neely Sr., who served as acting mayor after Lester’s resignation and before Burnett took office, said the town was not legally permitted to pay Lester $3200. Neely cited Article 4, Section 96 of the Mississippi Constitution which prohibits extra compensation and unauthorized payment, adding Lester was also allowed to keep a gun and three weed eaters. Lester said he never had the town’s weed eaters and even though he pleaded guilty for taking a firearm he claims to have been set up.