Autauga County Coroner receives second indictment

Autauga County Jail in Prattville - Photo by Marc Parker

Montgomery, AL – A second indictment has been served that reinstates charges previously brought against Autauga County Coroner William Mack Brown III (known as Billy Brown), a spokesperson for Attorney General Troy King’s Office said today. Brown turned himself in yesterday at the Autauga County Sheriff’s Office.

King’s Office presented evidence to an Autauga County grand jury, resulting in Brown’s indictment on February 11.

Presently holding the elected position of coroner, Brown is charged with a felony ethics violation and first-degree theft of more than $2,500 from the sheriff’s office during the time that he was a warden there. He obtained items including food, alcohol, tools, cellular phones, home furnishings, and cash with jail funds.

“It is an extremely serious charge when a public official and law enforcement officer is accused of breaking the very laws he was sworn to uphold,” said the attorney general.

The crimes charged in this indictment are the same as that in a previous indictment returned against Brown in November of 2007, but corrects a technical error that identified Brown as a deputy sheriff rather than as a jail warden at the time of the alleged crimes. Brown resigned as warden in June of 2006.

It is a matter of public record that Brown was cited for improper expenditures by the Examiners of Public Accounts in a special report on the Autauga Country Metro Jail Fund, covering the period of September 1, 2004 through August 28, 2006, and is accused of spending $27,981.62 in “unallowable disbursements” ranging from debit card cash withdrawals and checks written to “cash” to purchasing items for personal gain.

The audit further shows that Brown repaid $3,616.00, leaving a balance of $24,365.13 in unpaid charges.

If convicted, Brown faces a maximum penalty of two to twenty years imprisonment and a fine of $10,000 for each of two counts, and both are Class B felonies. Furthermore, according to the Code of Alabama, when an officeholder is convicted of a felony, the office is vacated from the time of conviction.

King commended Assistant Attorney General Ben Baxley and Special Agent Jeff Chandler who are handling the prosecution and investigation of this matter for his office.

Article by Melissa Parker

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