Fmr. state school board candidate sentenced

A former state school board candidate was sentenced Wednesday for campaign finance disclosure violations.

Troy W. Smithwick Jr., 68, of Sylacauga, was given a suspended sentence of four months on each of two counts in the county jail to run concurrently, and was given 12 months probation.

Smithwick was convicted in Talladega County Circuit Court on September 20 of two counts of violating the Alabama Fair Campaign Practices Act.

Attorney General Luther Strange's office said on the first count, Smithwick was convicted of failing to file an annual report, as required by Code of Alabama Section 17-5-8(b). The evidence showed that Smithwick, who was an unsuccessful candidate for state school board in the 2008 Republican primary, knowingly did not file an annual report of contributions and expenditures by January 31, 2009, as required by state law.

For the second count, Smithwick was convicted of improperly reporting a campaign contribution, in violation of Code of Alabama Section 17-5-8(c)(2). The evidence showed that Smithwick received a campaign contribution from "The Real Democrat PAC" ("TRD PAC") for $100,000 in May of 2008, but that he knowingly reported that the contribution came instead from the "Tennessee Valley Citizens for Economic Development PAC."

"Campaign finance disclosure laws are an essential part of an open and honest government," said Attorney General Strange. "When these laws are disregarded and broken, the integrity of our government is threatened."

Smithwick will also received a $500 fine on each count, plus other court costs and assessments.

INFORMATION SOURCE: Alabama Attorney General's office