MONTGOMERY, Ala. – A former chairman of the Albertville Industrial Development Board was convicted for a felony ethics violation, Attorney General Luther Strange announced Friday.
Roy Hugh Bruister, 68, of Albertville, pleaded guilty to an “information” document filed in Marshall County Circuit Court Friday morning.
According to the Attorney General’s Office, Bruister used his official public position as chairman of the Albertville IDB to take various amounts of currency and checks drawn upon the IDB account at BancorpSouth Bank, which were payable to himself or other individuals and businesses. Then, he either cashed the checks or purchased cashier’s checks which he cashed or used to pay his personal bills, using his position as a vice president at BancorpSouth Bank.
Bruister is required to pay a total of $205,084 that includes restitution, legal fees and other expenses. He has made payments toward that amount, with a remaining balance of approximately $38,577 as of August 1. He was also sentenced to six years imprisonment, which was split for him to serve nine months in the county jail followed by a term of probation that is dependent upon meeting the terms of the sentencing. Bruister also was ordered to pay court costs and a $100 fine to the Alabama Crime Victims Compensation Fund.
“This defendant committed a grave violation of his trust as a public official and local business leader,” said Attorney General Strange. “I am pleased that the money is being repaid but it is appropriate that this defendant also should serve time in jail. This case should serve as a message to others that if they commit similar crimes, they will be called to account and made to pay for their wrongdoing.”
Attorney General Strange commended those involved in bringing this case to a successful conclusion, noting in particular Assistant Attorney General Bill Lisenby and Special Agents of his Special Prosecutions Division.