AG Luther Strange Files document to begin impeachment of Sumter County Sheriff

Sheriff Clark

Sheriff Tyrone Clark,  Sr.


(MONTGOMERY)—Attorney General Luther Strange has begun proceedings for the impeachment of Sumter County Sheriff Tyrone Clark Sr. This morning, the Attorney General’s Special Prosecutions Division filed an Information
* of Impeachment and Prayer for Ouster in the Alabama Supreme Court pursuant to Alabama Code § 36-11-4 through § 36-11-5.  The Sumter County District Attorney initiated this matter, and the Sumter County Grand Jury issued a report of impeachment against the sheriff in April.  That report was sent to the Office of Attorney General to review the referral and take appropriate action.
The document charges Clark with willful neglect of duty, specifying nine alleged violations, and with corruption in office, specifying three alleged violations.
The specifications of willful neglect of duty include:
· Willfully neglecting his duty to secure and supervise inmates under his custody, by making an inmate, who had an extensive criminal history for drug-related offenses, an inmate trustee, allowing him to freely move about the jail and administration buildings and to leave the jail, sometimes without law enforcement supervision;
· Willfully neglecting his duty to prevent the introduction of contraband into the jail and supervise the inmates housed there, by aiding the inmate trustee in bringing in contraband such as controlled substances, cell phones and cigarettes, ordering officers not to search him when he would return to the jail, and arranging for him to be free from oversight; ·Willfully neglecting his duty to supervise inmates and prevent them from possessing a deadly weapon, by allowing the inmate trustee to have access to firearms;
·  Willfully neglecting his duty to preserve the process by which prisoners are committed to jail, by allowing the inmate trustee to process prisoners;
·  Willfully neglecting his duty to maintain custody of another inmate, allowing a criminal convicted of a violent offense to leave the jail for extended periods;
·  Willfully neglecting his duty to maintain custody of a third inmate by failing to swear out an arrest warrant, apprehend or arrest the inmate after he escaped from the jail;
· Willfully neglecting his duty to supervise inmates and secure the jail by giving the inmate trustee access to an unsecured room in which he had sexual intercourse with female visitors who were not searched or monitored; Willfully neglecting his duty to supervise inmates and secure the jail by providing an environment that allowed the trustee inmate to engage in second-degree human trafficking;
·  Willfully neglecting his duty to properly appoint and supervise deputies by appointing a deputy sheriff who was allowed to patrol on his own but who had not been certified as a law enforcement officer.
The specifications of corruption in office include:
· Using his official position to benefit himself by employing inmates to work at his personal home;
·  Using his official position to benefit himself by operating an undocumented work release program in which inmates worked for individuals or businesses on the condition that a portion of their wages be paid to the sheriff;
·   While serving in his official capacity, attempting to use his position to coerce a female employee into having sexual intercourse with him.
No additional information about the charges or the evidence against Clark may be released at this time, other than what is contained in the information document.
Under the Alabama Constitution, the Alabama Supreme Court will consider the charges against Clark. By statute, both the State and Clark may present evidence and compel witnesses to testify before the Court at trial. If Clark is found guilty of the allegations, he will be removed from office. Any possible criminal proceedings must be brought separately.

Alabama legislators consider impeachment of Gov. Bentley

By: Ed Cason,

Gov. Robert Bentley

Gov. Robert Bentley

State Rep. Ed Henry, following through on plans he announced last week, outlined articles of impeachment he will introduce against Gov. Robert Bentley. The governor said he would vigorously defend himself against a move he called a “political attack.”
Henry, a Republican from Hartselle, was joined at a news conference today by Rep. Craig Ford, D-Gadsden, minority leader in the House, and Reps. Mike Ball, R-Madison and David Standridge, R-Hayden. The five-page resolution charges Bentley with willful neglect of duty, corruption in office, incompetency and offenses of moral turpitude.
“We’re looking at this governor who has essentially betrayed the trust of the people of Alabama through actions and lies that have caused us to have some doubt about his leadership,” Henry said. “And as such, the only course the people of Alabama have to address this issue is through the impeachment process.”
Henry said he would not seek a vote on the resolution today but hoped for a vote next week.If the House approves the resolution, it would refer the charges to the Senate, which would hold a trial on whether to remove the governor from office.
Bentley has come under fire after the release of audio tapes of his sexually suggestive comments to former senior political adviser Rebekah Caldwell Mason, who resigned last week.
The governor says he has no plans to resign and has done nothing to warrant removal from office. Bentley released a statement this afternoon saying he would vigorously defend himself and there are no grounds for impeachment. He called today’s press confererence “political grandstanding.”
“There is a lot of work to do before I end my term in office in 2019,” Bentley said. “I have laid out a strategic plan for success, and I will continue to focus my efforts on making Alabama a great state.”That is what the people of Alabama overwhelmingly elected and re-elected me to do. I will continue to work hard for them every day.”
It’s unclear how much support there is for the impeachment resolution and whether it has time to be resolved with 12 meeting days left in the legislative session.
Rep. Mac McCutcheon, chairman of the Rules Committee, told the Associated Press that Henry’s impeachment resolution would be accompanied by a resolution establishing an investigatory commission, which would examine if there are grounds for impeachment.
Rep. Ford, minority leader in the House, said the impeachment resolution was not a partisan issue. “This is not about the governor’s personal conduct. This is about the allegations against him, including that he obstructed justice within the Alabama state law enforcement agency,” Ford said.
“We believe there is enough probable cause to warrant asking the state Senate to try this case, and if guilty, remove the governor from office.”
Former state Law Enforcement Secretary Spencer Collier has accused Bentley of telling him to lie to the attorney general’s office about the status of an investigation. Collier made allegations about Bentley on the same day the governor fired him. The governor said he has not told any employees or cabinet members to lie.
At today’s news conference, Ball said the impeachment resolution was an effort to use one of the checks and balances of governments to resolve a “crisis of confidence.