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President of the Water Board of Birmingham among three accused of ethics violations



by Lauren Walsh and Emma Simmons

The president of the Birmingham Water Works Board Sherry Lewis (left) and Jerry Jones, former vice president of BWW contractor Arcadis (left), face charges related to violations of ethics.

On Wednesday, the president of the Birmingham Water Board (BWW), Sherry Lewis, was charged with violating Alabama's ethics laws.

The Attorney General's Public Corruption Unit issued the indictment on three charges, in which Lewis allegedly:

  1. Used his office for personal gain for herself, her family or her business
  2. Voted or participated in matters in which she or a member of her family had a financial interest to win
  3. Request or receive something for the purpose of corruptly influencing official action

Birmingham Water Works general manager, Mac Underwood, issued a statement in response to the accusation, saying:

Sorry to inform me of the accusation. By the way, we must be aware that being accused of unlawful conduct does not automatically make one guilty. However, we must let the legal process take its course.

The AG also accused Jerry Jones, the former vice president of the Arcadis engineering company. Jones managed the company's multi-million dollar business with Birmingham Water Works.

Jones also faces a charge of three counts:

  1. Helping and instigating the illegal behavior of Sherry Lewis in Charge 1
  2. Helping or instigating Lewis' illegal behavior in Charge 2
  3. Offering or providing any thing for the purpose of corruptly influencing official action

The AG also accused Terry Williams, owner of Global Solutions International, a subcontractor of Arcadis in the same three counts as Jones.
[19659005] Lewis, Jones and Williams were hired at the Jefferson County Jail on Wednesday for an embezzlement charge each with a $ 30,000 bonus.

Lewis has been on the Birmingham Water Works Board since the appointment in 2008 of then Mayor William Bell.

She was elected chair of the board in January 2017, just after a change of power on the board, due to a state law that added four members.

Weeks after she became a hair, ABC 33/40 cameras captured Lewis entering the Jefferson County Court to spend time with the Attorney General's Public Corruption Unit and his special grand jury.

During this time, the board continued to work with its independent engineering company, Arcadis.

Jones managed the company's work with the Birmingham Water Works Board.

The company confirmed its dismissal on Monday, just two days before the accusations were made public.

In a statement, Arcadis said an internal investigation showed that Jones violated the company's policies, adding that the company cooperated with state and federal investigations as well.

A review of the board minutes shows that the board spent millions of dollars with Arcadis.

In 2016, the board approved $ 6.3 million in invoices for Arcadis.

In 2017, the minutes from January to May show the invoices approved by the board for $ 1.2 million for Arcadis.


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