Three Alabama officers have been arrested on felony felony charges.
Attorney General Steve Marshall, in a press release, said that Sherry Lewis, chairman of the Board of Directors of Birmingham Water Works, Mt. Vernon Mayor, Terry Williams, who also owns Global Solutions International Inc ., and Jerry Jones, former vice president of Arcadis, surrendered Wednesday in the Jefferson County jail after a grand jury indicted them on Tuesday.
Lewis, 54, is accused of using her office to obtain personal benefits for herself or a family member and to vote on matters in which she or her family members had financial interests. Williams, 62, and Jones, 54, are accused of helping and instigating Lewis to commit the alleged crimes by offering money for the purpose of influencing corrupt official action.
"I want to thank the Birmingham Division of the FBI for partnering with my Division of Special Prosecutions to investigate this matter," Marshall said. "Citizens of this state expect honesty and integrity from public servants at all levels of government, and as Attorney General, a priority is to ensure that anyone who violates the public's trust is held accountable."
The charges revolve around prosecutors' belief that Jones channeled money to subcontractor Williams for that company to pay or provide benefits to Lewis or his family.
Al.com reports that Lewis' attorney, Brett Bloomston, issued a statement after she surrendered to jail
"Sherry Lewis is innocent of the charges brought against her, at the request of the prosecution, for a Grand Jury who heard only one side of the evidence, "according to the statement.
"Sherry has lived her entire life in Birmingham, Alabama, and has earned an excellent reputation for honesty, integrity, and hard work in her professional life as well as in her community." Sherry has served diligently on the Works Board from Birmingham, where she has been a voice of reason and a watchdog for the citizens who are served by that Board. "Sherry waits for her day in court and hopes to be cleared of all charges by a jury of her peers in a courtroom. trial where he will have the right to confront the evidence of the prosecution. "
Lewis was released on bail of $ 30,000. [1
Arcadis also issued a statement.
"We appreciate the partnership and cooperation with the Alabama State Attorney and we respect the state's adherence to laws that protect integrity in the workplace." As a result of his investigation, no charges were filed against the company, "according to the Arcadis statement.
"The company conducted its own exhaustive internal investigation, which resulted in Mr. Jerry Jones being separated from the company for violating its policies." Arcadis is committed to integrity and strives to operate its business honestly and responsible, working to the highest professional standards. "
Attempts to contact Williams' attorney, Josh Briskman, failed.
If convicted, all defendants face a maximum of 20 years in prison and fines of $ 30,000 for each of the three charges in the indictment.
Birmingham Water Board general manager Mac Underwood also issued a statement saying that Lewis' indictment "is an unfortunate result of a lengthy investigation."
"I'm sorry to hear about the accusation," Underwood said. " By the way, we must be aware that being accused of unlawful conduct does not automatically make them guilty, but we must let the legal process take its course "