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Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Alabama Sheriffs Association

Folks, as hard as it is to believe Sheriff Ana Franklin is still secretary/treasurer for the Alabama Sheriffs Association.  Secretary/Treasurer.   We are not sure that is a job this sheriff should be trusted with.  On the other hand, there are at least 49 sheriffs who have taken inmate food funds.  Many of which have not been revealed to the public.

Does it really matter?

Blogger Comments:  Folks, Sheriff Ana Franklin stands to gain $1,381,160.00 just for housing Federal inmates if the MCSO jail maintains their current quota.  The question is what does it matter at this point?  Sheriff Franklin has not given raises, on the spot cash awards, annual appraisal incentive awards, or anything else of substance since becoming the Sheriff of Morgan County.  The only pockets that seem to have been padded are the sheriff's and her low life buddies.  As for the sheriff knowing the number of suicides and the number of deaths the "real sheriffs office employees" investigated the incidents you can bet the sheriff spent no time researching.  Our experience of Ana's research is the lies she told about the number of meth labs Bones Wilson made over the past 7 1/2 years.  Ana claimed outrageous numbers that had never been reported to the State and to the National database.

I respect the commission with their overall raises.  Sheriff Ana Franklin should have been budgeting raises or compatible pay scales for her employees through the years instead of galavanting around the world. 

Morgan's general fund likely to include increases in salaries, appropriations

  • Updated 

      Outgoing Sheriff Ana Franklin said her department investigated 27 deaths, which caused a small spike in overtime that is 9.5 percent over budget through July 31. She said Morgan County has been approved to house 100 federal inmates at the jail. “Presently we are at 88 now,” she said. “So that will be more money coming into our budget.”
      According to past county records, the federal government pays $43 per federal inmate per day housed at the jail.The sheriff’s budget for fiscal 2019 is a proposed $3,502,535.70, down from $3,509,021.64 in fiscal 2018 and $3,825,210.84 in fiscal 2017. The jail budget is a proposed $5,112,268.50, up from $4,772,870.15 in fiscal 2018. Budget numbers show increases in salaries, retirement and health insurance as the driving factors for the increase
      So, if you add the sheriff's office budget and the jail budget, you find that the sheriff has about $8.6 million to play with.  A million here, a million there and pretty soon you're talking about real money (old joke).  The sheriff is responsible for over 18% of the total county budget!  And we trusted Ana with that kind of responsibility?  What were we thinking?

Dirty Sheriffs Caught

Blogger Comments:  We sure do believe that the Etowah County Sheriff Todd Entrekin aka the "Beach House Sheriff" wakes up every morning thanking Sheriff Ana Franklin for her assistance in helping bust him.  If you recall Sheriff Entrekin was Sheriff Franklin's go-to sheriff for opening her investigation against Leon Bradley.  However, like the other sheriff's office employees that Franklin solicited, none of the employees wanted to play the dirty games sheriffs like to play.

State launches new investigation into 'Beach House Sheriff' following sexual allegations

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Ethics and a Tale of Two Counties

Folks, We have here two Alabama Sheriff Offices with a similar issue and a widely and wildly difference. Here's the first one:

BAY MINETTE, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama Ethics Commission says a former sheriff's deputy violated the state ethics law by falsifying time cards last year.
Baldwin County District Attorney Bob Wilters told WALA-TV the ruling could force former Sgt. Carl Griffith to repay more than $7,500. Sheriff Huey Mack said earlier his office's internal investigation found Griffith said he was working for the sheriff's office when he was working a second job, or was not working at all.
The Ethics Commission voted Aug. 1 that Griffith committed a "minor violation" of the ethics law, and that the case should be handled administratively and turned over to Wilters' office.
The prosecutor said the ethics commission also recommended that Griffith be fined $1,000.
The station reported Griffith's attorney did not respond to messages.
That was Baldwin County.  Now let's shift our focus to (surprise!) Morgan County.  Up here we have the same issue multiplied by 1000 at least.  Just three deputies (Wilson, Livingston, and  Robinson) reported hundreds of hours of overtime they didn't work to the tune of many thousands of dollars.  Unlike Sheriff Mack's action to investigate internally, Sheriff Franklin ignored, no, CONDONED what her co-conspirators did.  "We don't need no stinkin' investigation.  We know who done it and we don't care!"   Where was our Chief Deputy who's supposed to be the seasoned professional?  "Don't bother me with that crap!  I quit working years ago."
The blog admits we don't know beans about Sheriff Mack and Baldwin County.  For all we know he diverts inmate food funds, but he took the professional law enforcement action in this case and cleaned under his own doorstep, so to speak.  Once again, Ana and her gang of crooks continue to act as though the law can be ignored and ethics don't count.  How many days left in her term of office?

Monday, August 13, 2018

13 August 2018 - The Beginning of The End

Folks, we get frustrated sometimes because things don't go our way.  We have become a society that wants what we want and we want it now.  Unfortunately, not all things are within our power.  As a matter of fact, most things in life is outside our control.  We must accept the things we have no control over and let the powers that be make the decisions that are right for the time.

Someone commented on the blog that we report the same things over and over.  Folks, we do.  There is a reason for that.  All of the things we have reported on the blog revolves around the usual suspects.  The suspects haven't changed; they just continue to do stupid stuff.  Case in point:  we can't tell you how many folks have told us that Franklin is now seen shopping in the Lawrence County Wal-Mart vice any of Wal-Marts in Morgan County.  There is a reason why Franklin doesn't want to be seen in Morgan County.  If she has a conscience, she should be too embarrassed to be seen in Morgan County.

Sheriff Franklin has brought more disgrace to Morgan County than any of her predecessors or any other corrupt politician.   Early on Franklin forced the Coopers out of the SO so she could place her oldest daughter in one of the Cooper positions.  Franklin didn't pay her daughter the conventional way because Cheryll Marsh was all over it.  A lot of folks believed that the Sheriff was going to be a breath of fresh air.  Frankin's breath of fresh air was about as stout as the ammonia smell found in a chicken house full of chickens.  The smell is breathtaking and not in a good way.

The breath of stench continued when Franklin began hiring additional family or common law family such as Jonathan Stebbins who lives with the sheriff's daughter Alyssa in Franklin's house in Decatur.   Stebbins was a bad boy with multiple arrests under his belt.  Stebbins was spending his weekends in the Limestone County jail and working for Sheriff Franklin at the MCSO in booking during the week.

So! We have Ana forcing employees out to place her oldest daughter in an office position, Ana hiring her first cousin to work in the jail, and Jonathan Stebbins the common law son in law of her youngest daughter.  Nothing like keeping it all in the family.  Franklin progressed fairly quickly in throwing her weight around.  Ana finally got around to Shorty Humphries, a real bad guy who threatened to kill her.  Stay with me, folks because this is interesting.  Humphries ended up in prison and the sheriff had him moved back to MC.  This guy is one of the worst of the worst but Franklin was as scared of ole Shorty as she was scared of the whistleblower.  Yep! The whistleblower who weights 120 lbs soaking wet.  She claimed the whistleblower wanted her dead.  But the guy that really threatened to kill her, she wanted to keep him close by.  Makes you wonder why doesn't it?   He was one of the three strikes and you're out kinda guy.  Shorty is kinda a Bad Bad Leroy Brown big on manufacturing.

Ana moved on to ensure that Timothy Alan Hall was also placed on an in-house old.  It was important for Ana because he is the first cousin of Ana's "real" son-in-law.  Hall was convicted of vehicular homicide for killing a man on a motorcycle while under the influence.  What a great guy.  He spends more time out of jail than in jail.  Could you see Franklin doing that as a favor for an everyday citizen?  Don't think so...

Sheriff Franklin didn't start out as a good sheriff.  She walked through the doors corrupt.  Franklin, Ziaja and a few others planned on getting rid of Judge Thompson, Haddock, Craig, and many of the others who had been there for years and placing them with the brood they wanted in office.  Such as Jennifer Howell.  Heck, they had their sights on the County Commission and how they would get their own commission in office.

Don't think for one minute that Sheriff Franklin, ex-ALEA agent Steven Ziaja, and the rest of their clan are stupid.  There not.  They just thought the rest of us were.  Why did it all fall apart?  Because of greed.  They were all so greedy to get rich that they showed their true colors.  We knew a lot about Franklin during the first term but her popularity was so great nobody would have believed it.  It has taken time and effort to reveal Sheriff Ana Franklin and her criminal counterparts for what the really are.

Some of you want us to focus on the future and the changes that need to be made to bring the MCSO back up to standard.  That's not our job.  We have a new sheriff that will be coming on board in January to make the necessary changes.  We refuse to tell him how to suck eggs.  Puckett has been around the blog a few times.  He is not a fool nor will he be fooled by the incompetent people currently running the jail.  The only advice we could give Sheriff Puckett is to be leery of anyone that Franklin promoted.

Franklin, Bones, and the rest of Ana's fan club claim they are not worried about anything.  Folks, they are.  They are really worried and if Ziaja is convicted of one or all of the many felonies he faces, they will be wearing Depends diapers.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Decatur Daily on Steenson Indictment

Folks, the Daily has come on board with the most recent indictment, adding some more background to the basic story of the 15 or is it 14 total indictments, many are Class B felonies, each one good for 2 to 20 years on the hard rock ground.  Sounds about right. 

Former Priceville Partners owner indicted

A Morgan County grand jury indicted a former owner of bankrupt Priceville Partners LLC on 14 counts including theft, forgery, securities violations and financial exploitation of the elderly, according to the Alabama Securities Commission.
Greg Steenson, 49, of Decatur, has been in the Limestone County Jail since his bond was revoked in March. Many of his charges relate to his ownership of Priceville Partners, a used car and title loan business that received loans from Morgan County Sheriff Ana Franklin and former Alabama Law Enforcement Agency agent Steven Ziaja. 
The eight counts of theft and one count of forgery involve allegations that Steenson, from April to December of 2015, had no legal title to vehicles which he sold to eight victims, a4ccording to the statement from the Alabama Securities Commission. A separate indictment charges him with four Alabama Securities Act violations, including fraud in connection with the sale of securities. He was also charged with one count of financial exploitation of an elderly person.
Our constant readers are familiar all this.  But it can't hurt to re-emphasize the scope and gravity of these crimes and the corruption that supported them.   The blog admits there's a certain pleasure in recounting all the stupidity and audacity of these yo-yo's and probably should be ashamed while writing this with a smile.  Not very Christian of me, I admit.  I'll ask forgiveness when they are all in prison.   In the meantime, gotcha!

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Why, Ana?

Ana, why are you wondering about the whistleblowers.  They are doing just fine.  However, makes us feel good that you are still concerned about us or wonder where we are and what we are up to?

We have said for a long time and prove that things were happening under your watch that weren't right.  How did things go so wrong for you?  Was it when the MCSO employees realized you were not their sheriff?  Was it when they realized that instead of being full of intelligence and a desire to improve the SO that your actions would destroy all credibility of the SO with outside agencies and surrounding county authorities?  Was it when you professed to be doing good in the neighborhood by using your non-profit sheriff's rodeo to help support the special needs.  The special needs that only padded your pockets and those of the likes of Larry Berzett?  We believe there is a special place in hell for those who profess to care for the needy and use the proceeds for their own benefit.

The Berzetts, you, and others have abused the MCSO posse to your own advantage and to pad your pockets.  We have always heard that people who went to jail that abused those who are special do not fare well in jail.  That must make it a true blessing and a just dessert that corrupt law enforcement personnel spend 23 hours per day in lockdown with one hour per day to experience a little freedom.  One hour per day is way too much freedom for those who mistreat those who are less fortunate.  But alas, the prison and jail system is required by law to afford you that one hour per day.  But the other 23 hours are all yours, all by your self, lots and lots of time to think.

Early on during this tenuous struggle to get the truth out, the whistleblowers felt empathy for those caught up in the Sheriff's web.  Not so much anymore.  You all should have known better.  You believe your ignorance has been bliss.   Your arrogance has been noted as has your sense of being not the law but above the law.

One thing we have always found interesting is the inspiration that those believe they have gotten away with their hands in the cookie jar until just before the cuffs go on.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Greg Steenson Again UPDATED

BLOGGER COMMENTS:  Well, folks, the Greg Steenson sordid saga continues with even more charges.  This is lifted from and intrepid reporter, Ashley Remkus:

Greg Steenson is held in the Limestone County jail. Because of ties to the Morgan County sheriff, he isn't being held in the county in which he's charged.

A man has been indicted on 15 felony charges for a "con game" at a now bankrupt crooked car lot where the Morgan County Sheriff invested jail food money, authorities said.  He has now gone from 8 or 9 initial felonies to 15 (Count 'em) 15!
Greg Steenson, already a federal felon, has been indicted on multiple charges of theft, forgery, fraud and financial exploitation of an elderly person, court records show. He's also accused of selling unregistered securities and selling securities as an unregistered agent.

Greg Steenson involved a large number of his family members in on his corruption to include his brother who signed off on a lease agreement to open an additional Title Mart.  Why is it that these folks started a conspiracy that would start the entire county and the state talking about Morgan Couty?  A large part of that is because of Sheriff Ana Franklin who herself involved her daughter, dad, stepmom, stepbrother, and employees in the scheme.  How in the world did they think they would keep their wheeling and dealing a secret from the public?
In 2015, Steenson was co-owner of Priceville Partners, LLC., which operated a used car lot in Morgan County. Steenson sold or traded to eight people vehicles for which he didn't hold legal titles, according to the indictments. 
"The victims either paid cash to Steenson or traded their vehicle, or a combination of the two, for vehicles for which the victims were unable to obtain titles," said Dan Lord, a spokesman for the Alabama Securities Commission, in a news release "Additionally, Steenson allegedly forged the signature of two victims on title applications." And we believe which were notarized by the Sheriff's daughter Allysa Franklin.  
Morgan County District Attorney Scott Anderson called Steenson's activity a "con game."

Greg Steenson's "con game" hurt a lot of people.  Many of them the poorest of the poor who had no other alternative but to purchase vehicles from a pay as you go company.  These folks are hard working, down on their luck, and just wanted to be able to provide for their families. 
The car lot has repeatedly made news during the past three years, including when it was revealed Sheriff Ana Franklin had used the local jail inmate feeding account to invest $150,000 in Priceville Partners. The sheriff was held in contempt of court because she violated a federal court order by using the inmate food money. The sheriff and other investors have not been charged with any crimes associated with the car lot fraud allegations.  Yet!  The sheriff purchased vehicles, horse trailers, tractors and more.  Love to see those documents.  Sheriff Franklin had/has no intention of paying for the property she got from Title Mart.  Sheriff Franklin appeared to believe that once becoming sheriff she was entitled to anything that she sets her sights on that she wanted.  It almost worked Ana.  It almost worked.  What you and the rest of the nasty bunch did was to be so blatant with your dirty deeds.  You caught the attention of many people who happened to be honest brokers for the county and the state.  The next thing we know there is a firestorm of activity that caught you and some 49 other sheriffs up in partaking of inmate food funds that don't belong to you. 
If you have never heard of the state Securities Commission, here's who they are:
The Alabama Securities Commission (ASC) regulates the securities industry in Alabama. The Commission is committed to protect investors against securities fraud and provides aggressive enforcement actions against any firm or individual who has violated the Alabama Securities Act or other state and federal statutes to the detriment of Alabama investors.
The Alabama Securities Act provides for the licensing and regulation of securities broker-dealers, agents, investment advisers and investment adviser representatives, and financial planners.

So we have one more enforcement agency getting into Ol' Greg's knickers.  You'd a thunk that Ana, her kinfolk, his kinfolk, and some her powerful friends in high places would have thrown a protective blanket over him.  No, wait!  Those powerful friends aren't so powerful anymore.  And Ana herself is kryptonite to all the others.  A little back pat here, the Blog all along hinted at "other state and federal agencies" involvement.  Hint:  There's more to come.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Has the MCSO FB gotten a facelift?

Blogger Comments:  Folks it appears that the MCSO FaceBook page has gotten a facelift.  It's about time.  We have lost trust in Sheriff Franklin and the citizens need to see that change is on its way.  This is a good start.  The last time we looked at the MCSO website it looked like it has been years since it has been updated.  It must be hard for JP to keep up with all of the official stuff with he is responsible for his "other duties as assigned".

As for Douglas Johnson below.  We know of no one who has been able to sit in the sheriff's office and talk to our sheriff in years.  First, she would have to be there.  Which she isn't.  We have been to several sheriff's offices over the years to include the Cullman County sheriff who made himself available to talk to us as citizens.  Concerns over loved ones was not ignored by the sheriff.  This has been the case in Cullman for many years.  Some of the old geezers come in to tell the clerks that they want a word with the sheriff and they get it.  That's how it is supposed to work.  Our sheriffs must make themselves available to the public.  Of course, there are times that it isn't possible to have a one-on-one with the sheriff but it shouldn't be an everyday occurrence.   For that matter, there hasn't been a time that we called the Limestone Sheriff and not been able to speak with him one-on-one.  

We voted the sheriffs into office and we have a right to speak to our local sheriff and to review all public domain written documents within the sheriff's office to include financial records.

Mr. Douglas may want to contact the sheriffs official FB page and try to coordinate a talk with the sheriff instead of what appears to be her personal FB page.  

BTW.  Has Christian Lewis been recaptured?

Ed Henry pleads not guilty

Blogger Comments:  Time will tell if Ed Henry is found guilty of Medicare Fraud.  

Rep. Ed Henry pleads not guilty in Medicare fraud case

Good Samaritans still exist as does professionalism for our county and state worker

Folks, the last couple of weeks have been challenging.  We all go through it.  Our family is blessed. Yet sometimes while writing the blog we see a lot of bad that has come from people we should be looking up to.  That doesn't mean that all people are bad or that all law enforcement, political figures, etc., are bad.  A few bad apples can do a lot of damage to the crop.

Yesterday was one of those days.  You know.  One of those days where in the early morning hours you have a blessing, you get good news perhaps about a loved one. and the day looks positive.  However, we can never predict the rest of our day.  Traveling from Huntsville through Cotaco Road in route to pick up grandchildren my mother's car went dead and gradually stopped in the middle of the road.  We're on a deadline to get the kids when suddenly a truck from Morgan County NE Water and Sewage Department stopped and assisted me and passenger.  They provided gas; that didn't work, they provided assistance by jumping the car off and that didn't work.  We thanked them for all the efforts and it was a lot.  We were very close to Brewer High School and the local service station.  The men from the water and sewage department were not authorized to allow us to ride in their county vehicle which we completely understand.  However, a citizen stopped and offered us a ride to the service station.  We made preparation for a  tow truck, got a cold drink, and waited for our ride back to the vehicle.  Once we returned to the vehicle we found a state trooper assisting because our vehicle wasn't completely out of the road.  He stayed with us and our vehicle with his lights on until Dirty South arrived and towed our vehicle to Merriman's Garage on 36 West where we coordinated the repairs.  Cody with Dirty South Towing and the trooper got us back on the road again and ensured the safety of others trying to get safely through the blockage.

We can't say thank you enough for all the great support for the state trooper, the men from the water and sewage department, the citizen who gave us a lift, from Dirty South Towing, and Merriman's garage for being there for us.  They didn't know us but they stopped and they assisted.  Oh! Sure its the State Troopers job to assist but what a great day and a beautiful gift when people go above and beyond the call of duty.

Our vehicle breakdown turned from an inconvenience to a blessing.   Oh! and the kids made it home from school on time thanks to our work family and our immediate family.  May God Bless.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Attorney General's Office recalled its news release announcing the updated indictment on Steven Ziaja

Folks, we may never know why the AG's statement was recalled but does it matter?  None of the charges against Ziaja were recalled.  Perhaps it came out prematurely.  Mistakes are made.  As a matter of fact, our blog reported yesterday that Ziaja was due in court for his pretrial hearing.  The hearing was not set for the 7th it was actually set for today August 8, 2018.

Mistakes are easily made and corrected.  Unless you happen to be folks like Ziaja, Franklin, Bones, Blake, Justin, and others that have repeatedly taken actions that are or should be illegal, unethical, and possibly immoral.

We hope to see each one of these folks answer to the state for their personal capacity and professional conduct.  Meaning both as citizens of our state and employees of the state.  What these folks have done to destroy the lives of others, the criminal conduct, abuse of power, and a multitude of other actions should not go unpunished.

These things take time and good investigations do not take place overnight.  They take time.

As for the new charge, my sources say that it was another example of Ziaja's misuse or computer tampering.  Figures.  One thing is for sure this thing has Greg and Jason Steenson written all over it.  Steenson and Sheriff Ana Franklin have made darn sure that they involved other members of their family in their activities.

There is no way in the world all these folks could keep their criminal activities out of the public's noticed the way they added family, friends, and co-workers to their corrupt ways.

Former Alabama narcotics officer indicted on 13 felony computer tampering, ethics charges

Melissa Brown, Montgomery Advertiser  Published 4:02 p.m. CT Aug. 7, 2018 | Updated 11:59 a.m. CT Aug. 8, 2018
A former Alabama Law Enforcement Agency narcotics officer has been indicted on a felony ethics charge and a dozen counts of felony computer tampering.
Steven Ziaja, 40, was previously arrested in November 2017 and indicted in March, but a new grand jury last month added a 12th count of felony computer tampering to his case, superseding the March indictment. 
"Specifically, the indictment charges that Ziaja knowingly obtained information from a State computer system or network that is required by law to be kept confidential, that he knowingly disclosed other such data, and that he used his position as a narcotics officer with ALEA for personal gain," a release from the Alabama Attorney General's office states."
Court records indicate Ziaja accessed a network of confidential information to find information or records on 12 different individuals. The indictment suggests the network was the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center. The ACJIC works to "collect, store, retrieve, analyze, and disseminate vital information relating to certain crimes, criminals, and criminal activity," and links local and state agencies to the FBI's national crime database.
The Decatur Daily reports Ziaja used the database to help a car and title loan business repossess vehicles. 
The Morgan County resident faces two to 20 years in prison and up to a $30,000 fine per charge. 

Check back for updates.

Attorney General Recalls the Original Statement

Steven Ziaja
Update: The Attorney General's Office has recalled its earlier news release announcing the updated indictment.
Joy Patterson, a spokeswoman for AG Steve Marshall's office, said she couldn't provide information about what, if anything, was incorrect in the news release.
"It may have been released in error," Patterson said.
Original story:  
(See the story as the Blog initially reported)

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Steven Didn't Roll

Blogger Comments:  Ouch! May have been a worse day for Ziaja than we thought.  Next?

Grand jury adds 13th felony charge against former ALEA agent accused of ethics violation

A state law enforcement agent is on mandatory leave after being indicted on 12 felony charges, including accusations of using his position for personal gain.
Steven Ziaja, a 39-year-old Alabama Law Enforcement Agency employee who worked for the Alabama Alcohol Beverage Control Enforcement Division, was arrested earlier this week. first reported the indictments Wednesday. Officials said Ziaja no longer was working for ABC Enforcement when he was arrested. He had moved to ALEA's Law Enforcement Support Division, a spokeswoman said.
"He has been placed on mandatory leave until he uses all his annual leave," said ALEA spokeswoman Robyn Bryan in an email to "He then will be on leave without pay."
Ziaja is accused of obtaining confidential information about multiple people from the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center using state computers, court records show. The Center's database includes information from the National Crime Information Center, also known as NCIC. The information is available to law enforcement for investigative and official business purposes.
Ziaja is charged with 11 felony counts of computer tampering and one count of using his law enforcement position for personal gain. Court documents allege he used his position "to obtain personal gain for himself, a family member or a business with which he was associated." Records don't identify what the gain was or what it relates to. Ziaja hung up the phone when contacted him for comment. It is unclear whether he has hired an attorney.The Alabama Attorney General's Office has declined to comment on the indictments. Spokesman Mike Lewis told prosecutors aren't releasing details about the case, including why Ziaja obtained the confidential information or what types or personal gain he allegedly used his position for.
"We cannot comment on that," Lewis said.
Ziaja, who is from Morgan County, made local news last year when he was named as a creditor in a car lot that filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Ziaja claimed the co-owner of Priceville Partners LLC owed him $464,299 plus interest for loans to the car lot, court documents show. Also a creditor listed in the $3.2 million bankruptcy suit was Morgan County Sheriff Ana Franklin. In 2015, Franklin loaned the car lot $150,000. It was later made public that Franklin used the jail's food account to make the loan to the car lot's co-owner Greg Steenson. Steenson, who was convicted in a federal check-kiting scheme in the 1990s, has been charged with multiple counts of theft related to moving stolen cars through the lot, court records show. The car lot's creditors, including the sheriff and Ziaja, haven't been charged with theft.
A review of state financial disclosure forms shows Ziaja supplemented his state pay check with income from selling hay and vehicles in 2015. Ziaja wrote on his Statement of Economic Interests that he made less than $1,000 selling hay and between $1,000-$10,000 selling vehicles that year.The indictments against Ziaja were issued in Montgomery County Circuit Court. Indictments are issued when a grand jury determines prosecutors have enough evidence to formally charge a defendant and send the case to trial. The AG's office is prosecuting the case, which was investigated by ALEA special agents.
Each of the computer tampering charges is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. The use of office for personal gain charge carries a sentence up to 20 years in prison.
Ziaja was released from the Montgomery County Jail after posting $30,000 bail.