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Thursday, March 30, 2017

Impeachment Not Easy

Blogger Comments:  A comment on the blog asked what it takes to impeach elected officials. Excerpts from the Decatur Daily should help out if you are interested. Sheriff Ana Franklin deserves to be impeached.  Do it yourself (DIY) example below the Daily's excerpts.  I am ready, are you ready for impeachment?

News from the Tennessee ValleyState, Local and National news

Impeachment only way to oust public officials
By Sheryl Marsh ·
Not easy
But impeachment is the only option to try to remove officials from office and impeachment is difficult, perhaps because no one wants to overturn the collective wisdom of voters who put officials in office.
Impeachment trials are civil proceedings mostly handled in circuit court where an official may ask for a jury to hear the case.
Elected officials, such as county commissioners and sheriffs, and municipal officials, such as mayors, may be candidates for impeachment on statutory causes that include alcohol and drug abuse, incompetency and willful neglect of duties.
State law also mandates that it is the duty of the attorney general and district attorneys to institute and prosecute impeachment proceedings.
In addition to the district attorney and attorney general, citizens may also call for impeachment of an elected official.
The state has had its share of impeachments, but they’ve been rare in Morgan County.
The last recorded impeachment proceeding in Morgan was 26 years ago.
For almost three decades no one has brought allegations for impeachment of any Morgan officials.
“There hasn’t been one since I’ve been in office,” said 21-year District Attorney Bob Burrell. “The last I remember was that of Gilbert Edwards, who was mayor of Flint.”
Records show that a grand jury brought charges against the late mayor and the former late sheriff Van Ward in April 1981 for bribery of a public servant. The grand jury recommended removal of both men from office.
The allegations were that the two officials paid a Flint employee to set up the police chief by getting him drunk so he could be arrested when answering a fake call.
The attorney general’s office prosecuted the case and a jury found Edwards innocent of the charge, ruling out impeachment.
Ward resigned and pleaded guilty to the charge against him, records show. A judge placed him on probation for a year and a day. Ward did not have an impeachment proceeding.
In other counties
Former Attorney General Bill Baxley recalled impeachments he handled while in office and others that he researched.
In Talladega County, there was Sheriff Luke Brewer, now deceased.
“I liked Luke,” said Baxley. “He was a colorful guy. He was a pretty decent country sheriff. He had good common sense and instinct for solving crime. He got to taking bribes from bootleggers when Talladega was dry.”
The corruption grew worse.
“After a while, Luke got to the point where he was almost dangerous,” Baxley recalled. “He threatened a couple of judges and went and got somebody to set one judge’s home on fire. That’s when my office got in it.”
Baxley successfully got the state Supreme Court to impeach Brewer.
“Even after that, I still ended up liking Luke, but you can’t let somebody like that get away with what he was doing,” Baxley said.
Voodoo dust
Near the Florida line in South Alabama, a mayor reportedly practiced witchcraft.
“It was in Florala, and the mayor was about 84 or 85 years old,” Baxley said. “He sprinkled voodoo powder on the door of the police chief’s office.”
The Florala mayor, H.T. Mathis, made national headlines as “voodoo mayor” in publications such as The Washington Post.
The newspaper reported that Mathis “who drew national attention for his strange public references to voodoo and repeated pardons of drunken drivers, was convicted at his impeachment trial and removed from office.”
That was published in The Post on Sept. 1, 1988.
Former Gov. Don Siegelman, who was attorney general at the time, prosecuted Mathis on charges of incompetence and crimes of moral turpitude. Mathis was 85 at the time, according to the newspaper article.
An article in The New York Times, dated Sept. 1, 1988, stated that Mathis once proclaimed a National Voodoo Week and purportedly tried to scare the Florala police chief by sprinkling “voodoo powder” around City Hall, the City Council chambers and corridors to the jail.
Also, The Times story stated that witnesses who testified against Mathis told how he pardoned more than 100 traffic offenders, including 27 drunken drivers. Officials said he undermined the law by abusing his pardoning power.
Slot machines
In the 1950s, Madison County had an impeachment of the sheriff receiving bribes for illegal gambling.
“It was Sheriff Oliver McPeters,” Baxley said. “He couldn’t read or write, and he was taking bribes for slot machines. They would pay him by check, and he would scrawl an X for his name on the back. One of the people paying him off got mad at him and turned him in. On the line on the check to tell what it’s for the person wrote, “bribe for payoff of six slot machines.” Because McPeters couldn’t read, he signed the checks and they had those in evidence. He got impeached by the Supreme Court.”
Impeachment of sheriffs
Impeachment of sheriffs is prosecuted in the state Supreme Court because they are constitutional officers, Baxley explained.
Baxley said throughout the years there have been numerous impeachments of county commissioners and circuit clerks, which county juries decided.
Baxley said it’s not uncommon for citizens to ask for impeachment.
“They can bring a suit, but they have to put up certain costs,” said Baxley.
That happened in Phenix City.
“Some citizens filed an impeachment in the Supreme Court against the sheriff in the 1950s,” Baxley said. “The court ruled against them and left the sheriff in office.”
The corruption there worsened.
“After that, the district attorney and the sheriff’s chief deputy assassinated the attorney general-elect because he had campaigned to clean up corruption in Phenix City,” Baxley said.
“I read the original case of every impeachment case filed in this state, and they were quite interesting and some were very colorful.”
A guilty verdict for impeachment against officials means automatic removal from public office. There is no jail time.
Baxley said impeachment is exclusive to each situation.
State law lists these causes for removing an elected official from office:

  • Willful neglect of duty.
  • Incompetency.
  • Corruption in office.
  • Intemperance in the use of intoxicating liquors or narcotics to such an extent in view of the dignity of the office and importance of its duties unfitting for an officer to discharge duties.
  • Any offense involving moral turpitude while in office or committed under color thereof or in connection.The process
    A grand jury investigates allegations.
    “It shall be the duty of every grand jury to investigate and make diligent inquiry concerning any alleged misconduct or incompetency of any public officer in the county which may be brought to its notice,” the law states.
    If a grand jury finds that an official has committed any one of the offenses in the law and should be removed from office, it must report the finding to the court, the law states.
    State law gives citizens the right to file allegations for impeachment against an official.
    “Any five resident taxpayers of the division, circuit, district, county, city or town for which the officer sought to be impeached was elected or appointed may institute proceedings of impeachment under Sections 174 and 175 of Article 7 of the constitution upon giving bond, with sufficient sureties, payable to the officer sought to be impeached,” the law states.
    Source: Code of Alabama


    1. Ok it says it takes 5 taxpayers to start the process. Let's see how many want her our of office.

      Please comment yes or no

      I say yes

    2. Impeach on what specific grounds? I may be on board, but some clarity will help.

    3. If sheriff Franklin had any class,decency or self respect for the citizens of this county,she would do the right thing and resign.No one believes her lies,not even her pet thugs.They know she is lying but they do not care,because they are corrupt.This has now spread all over the state. Resign and leave Alabama.Get yourself right with the Lord, and start a new life.We do not need a narcissist for our sheriff.Even though this is a very serious matter,you are becoming the butt of everyone's jokes.If you choose not to resign,I for one say bring on the grand jury.Impeach!The grounds will be stealing the taxpayers dollars for your own greedy purposes.

    4. I'm in. The sheriff isn't going to resign because she doesn't believe she has done anything wrong. Still wearing rose colored glasses, I guess. You sure shut her fans up. Damn, if she got 317,000.00 what did she do with it? Sounds like she still has booger bamboozled. Looks like a ponzi scheme sounds like a ponzi scheme, is a ponzi scheme.

    5. Neglect of duty
      Corruption in office
      These are the first three things listed for a reason to be impeached.

      I believe she has committed all 3 multiple times and many ways.

    6. Don't get me wrong, she has made some mistakes, but I don't really see anything on this blog with strong enough evidence for impeachment.
      You keep saying this Steenson guy is a felon, crook, and a liar, but you post his hand written ledger as fact. If he's as evil as you say, you might want to reconsider believing stuff he writes.

    7. 1Taking money out of the food account with a federal order in place. 2 Lying about the source of the money.
      3. Finally admitted that it was food money.
      4. Filing in bankruptcy court she lost money. ( In fact it is food money that was stolen)
      5. She claims it wasn't safe because the 250000.00 fdic limit was being reached.
      6. Under bankruptcy all debtors are supposed to be paid back equally.
      7. The money made should go into the food fund. Not Ana's personal slush fund.

      And yes this list can continue to grow.

      Yes impechment is the right and only thing to do. How can we have justice in Morgan County when the top elected law official (Ana Franklin) is crooked and full of criminal activity.
      There is also drug activity a local Preacher Tom Campbell openly states he carries marijuana to elderly and sick people with Sheriff Ana Franklin's blessings and protection.

      It's time all of this stops

      1. This would be Tom Campbell pastor of Shady Grove Baptist Church in Neel Alabama

      2. As I understand it, none of the money stuff is illegal unless Judge Kallon rules that way next month.

      3. You are wrong. There is a order in place that all the money is to be spent on feeding inmates. Ana asked for a legal opinion at the first of her term if the order applied to her. The legal opinion was yes it does. Taking the money was stealing.

      4. Now Glenda, you know better. There is a contempt hearing next month, if Judge Kallon rules that she was in contempt, she could be arrested. If Judge Kallon decides to follow Alabama law, she'll not be in contempt, the money will be considered her personal money, just as it is in almost every county in this state.

    8. So Judge Clemons​ order is not valid?
      Btw this is not Glenda. But I am posting as anonious because I am afraid of retaliation.

      1. It ain't valid if Judge Kallon says it ain't.
        Simple really.

      2. this person who keeps standing on this bull crap about Ana can keep tax payer money for feeding inmates despite a federal judge saying she cant is obviously a complete moron who thinks they are smart enough to know what is reality

    9. That's strange saying a standing order is not valid. You have a lot to learn.

      1. Not what I said. Re-read it slowly, try to understand the words I typed.

    10. It seems as if there are only a very few people who speak in favor of this corrupt Sheriff that makes the Love Gov look like a saint. Very confusing and even depressing to see the lack of action taken against these government officials who have betrayed so many. No matter what is said in these civil court cases where are the arrest of these criminals?

    11. Not sure who you are but there has not been anything filed with the court system to change the original ruling. Her actions are in contempt!! The legal system has a process. Ana did not follow the legal process. She got caught and now trying to weasel her way out. Plain and simple.

      1. Her actions are in contempt IF Judge Kallon rules that she is. Nothing here will have any effect on that ruling.

    12. How can you honestly justify any of this mess...Corley signs over dead mans title...someone obviously forged those documents...good bye Ana...goodbye every single rotten person that cheated this County out of taxpayers money. Your plan has failed and it is time to regroup and face what is heading your way

    13. All these Ana thugs keep mentioning the Federal Judge Kallon...yes Barney has ties...but if even his spears stretch to persuade Kallon...he has made a ton of money off her..probably out of one of her accounts...but she will never be reelected again...and he will lose all his credibility for standing up to a lying thief of a Sheriff....truth and greed hurts

      1. Judge Kallon has been mentioned because, on April 14, he will decide whether Alabama State Law applies in Morgan county, or if Sheriff Franklin is bound by a plea agreement made by Greg Bartlett.

    14. Well then...why did she meet with Lovelace and Shinn 2 months prior to taking office asking if the order applied to her and Shinn said YES you have to abide by the order. Barney sent the bill to the County Commission to pay and they refused as she was not the Sheriff yet. So what changed from that meeting was nothing but greed, lies and deception....she said I will go ahead and take it anyway because my boyfriend and Bones told me I would not be caught...then gives 4 different reason as to where the money came from. That was flat stupid. She should have came clean instead of lying 4 times. The public, your deputies, jailers are not stupid. They have zero respect for you as you have told so many lies you cant keep up...(I had no idea Steenson was part owner...when he is your cousin...people say you spent trips on the Risky Business boat several times with him and Ziaja) Lies are old...BTW where is that Risky Business boat now? Last we heard was Steenson and Ziaja were busy cleaning it out and sold it to a poor soul in Florence for a pretty penny...interesting...and sad but TRUE!

      1. The matter has been placed into Judge Kallon's hands. Attorney Shinn's opinion from 6 years ago will have exactly zero effect on the ruling.

    15. You are correct Shinns opinion has no effect on the ruling. What it does show is Ana is going to do whatever​she wants to no matter what the county attorney said. Which in general means she went against legal opinion and stole the money anyway