Judge denies Sheriff’s request to dismiss ethics charges

LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. – A motion asking a Limestone County judge to dismiss 13 criminal charges against Sheriff Mike Blakely has been denied. Circuit Judge Pride Tompkins signed the order on Friday.

The motions to dismiss argued that the Alabama Ethics Act is “unconstitutionally vague.”

Blakely was indicted in August on theft and ethics charges, including stealing from his office. He has remained on the job while his criminal case is pending. Blakely has served as the Limestone County Sheriff for 36 years.

The 13 charges cover conduct over multiple years, according to Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall.

The first four counts charge Blakely with four separate thefts from his campaign account that total $11,000. Counts five through 10 charge Blakely with illegally taking money from Limestone County funds, including from the Sheriff’s Law Enforcement Fund.

Count 11 charges Blakely with soliciting a $1,000 wire transfer from a subordinate other than in the ordinary course of business.  Finally, counts 12 and 13 charge Blakely with using his official position or office to acquire interest-free loans.

Specifically, count 12 charges Blakely with using his official position or office to obtain interest-free loans in the form of a $50,000 cashier’s check and/or a $22,189.68 credit.  Count 13 charges Blakely with using his official position or office to obtain interest-free loans by taking money from a safe that was used to store the Limestone County jail inmates’ personal funds.

An additional motion to dismiss addresses one misdemeanor count against Blakely. Attorneys argue that the  charge violates Alabama statue of limitations.

The judge also denied that motion on Friday.

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