Good evening, yesterday was a very difficult day for me and my family, my many close friends, and for those that have worked closely with me throughout the years as I served as your sheriff.
Yesterday I plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge for failing to file my 2015 income tax return timely as required. Most people know and understand that a failure to file a tax return by the due date is an offense which requires fines, penalties, and interest. But this offense also carries the potential to be charged criminally for a misdemeanor.
The confusion surrounding the Alabama inmate food law continues to be an issue for me and the other sheriffs that are affected by this, as well as those state officials that are struggling to resolve these legal matters. My failure to file the tax return on time stems from this confusion, but as an elected official and public servant, my obligation to obey all laws and try to adhere as closely as possible to the rule and spirit of the law is greater, and a higher standard is expected of me. My accountability is also greater because I am the sheriff and I am sworn to uphold the law. Because of my oath to uphold the laws, the Constitution of the United States and the State of Alabama, I believe it is the right thing to do to accept responsibility for this offense.
I am particularly thankful to Senator Arthur Orr for his willingness to take on this very controversial and difficult topic. I am also thankful to you, the citizens of Morgan County for voting to pass the amendment which will now eliminate this problem for future sheriffs in Morgan County.
Because of ongoing pending civil litigation, I cannot speak to every detail or to dispel all of the rumors and false allegations that continue to be spread, but as to this issue, I cooperated fully with the investigation and admitted to authorities at the onset that I had not initially filed my taxes on time as required. All taxes, penalties, fines, fees or interest due has been paid and my tax return was filed before I was aware of this investigation by the IRS.
I am sincerely sorry for the pain and embarrassment that this has caused for the Office of Sheriff and my community. I am especially sad and embarrassed for the way this reflects upon my family and loved ones that have supported me. I apologize for the mistake that I have made and for my shortcomings.
As I near the end of my term, I am ever thankful and grateful for the opportunity that you gave me to serve you. I have attempted to do my best as your sheriff and to diligently work to make our county a safer place. I am so proud of the staff at the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office, for the dedication they have to the people of this county, and for the difference they have made. My prayers will continue to be for this office, this county that I love, and for Sheriff Puckett as he steps into this very important role.
Thank you all for the prayers, your friendship and for the kindness that you have bestowed upon me throughout the years. May God Bless you all and this great nation.