RUSSELLVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – A former Franklin County Commissioner is behind bars charged with theft.
Sheriff’s investigators said the commissioner was purchasing hundreds of head of livestock with no money to pay for them.
According to Sheriff Shannon Oliver, former commissioner Greg Smith turned himself into authorities on Wednesday afternoon.
Oliver said Smith went to an auction on Saturday and purchased 700 goats and sheep, for $96,000.
When the auctioneers went to check with the bank, Oliver said they were informed Smith could not cover the checks written.
“The individual that was actually running the auction, I believe he actually talked to him during the time of the sale,” explained Oliver. “I believe it was the number and the price that he was paying for them. The price he was paying was way over market value.”
According to Oliver, the reason Smith purchased the animals is still under investigation.
But since he purchased that many and had written checks to cover it, Oliver said Smith is charged with theft of property.
“It’s something that is kind of shocking,” stated Oliver. “Especially someone who has been in that position would do. Which really sends up some flags that maybe something’s going on that we don’t know about?”
Oliver said 200 sheep that were already transported to Smith’s farm were recovered by the auctioneer and re-sold later in the day.
Greg Smith served on the Franklin County Commission from 2008 until 2012.
Smith is being held at the Franklin County Detention Center on bail totaling $20,000.