Autauga County Coroner Arrested
Press Release from Attorney General's office:
Attorney General Troy King announced the arrest today of Autauga County Coroner and Millbrook police officer Billy Brown, who is charged with felony ethics violation and first-degree theft from the Autauga County jail fund when he was formerly a sheriff's deputy. Willie Mack Brown III, known as Billy Brown, surrendered at the Autauga County Sheriff's Office.
Attorney General King's Office presented evidence to an Autauga County grand jury, resulting in Brown's indictment* on November 14. Specifically, the indictment charges that:
- Brown intentionally used his official position as an Autauga County sheriff's deputy for the unlawful personal gain of himself or family members, by taking unauthorized control of money from the sheriff's office jail fund; and
- Brown committed first-degree theft of more than $2,500 from the sheriff's office by making expenditures that were unrelated to operation of the jail.
"It is an extremely serious charge when a public official and law enforcement officer is accused of stealing from the public treasury and abusing his position of public trust by breaking the very laws he has sworn to uphold," said Attorney General King. "My commitment to the citizens of Alabama is that such accusations will be thoroughly investigated and where evidence indicates a crime has been committed, my office will vigorously prosecute cases of alleged public corruption." Attorney General King commended Assistant Attorney General Sonny Reagan and Special Agent Jeff Chandler, who are handling the prosecution and investigation of this matter for his office.
No further information about the investigation or about Brown's alleged crimes other than that stated in the indictment may be released at this time.
However, it is a matter of public record that Brown was cited for improper expenditures by the Examiners of Public Accounts in a special report on the Autauga County Metro Jail Fund, covering the period of September 1, 2004 through August 28, 2006, which was issued on March 16, 2007. The Examiners' audit report notes charges against Brown totaling $27,981.62, and that "these charges resulted from unallowable disbursements made from the Metro Jail Fund including: checks written to ‘Cash', debit card cash withdrawals, and a cashier check received from the official Metro Jail Fund bank account, as well as the purchase of items for personal use including alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, grocery items, cellular phones, clothing, jewelry, gasoline, gift cards, equipment and building supplies. Of the charges reflected on Exhibit I, $3,616 was repaid by the employee when brought to his attention. The remaining unpaid charges total $24,365.13."
If convicted, Brown faces a maximum penalty of two to 20 years imprisonment and a fine of $10,000 for each of two counts, which both are class B felonies. Furthermore, Section 36-9-2 of the Code of Alabama states that when an officeholder is convicted of a felony, the office is vacated from the time of conviction.