Ex-Rep. Spicer pleads guilty to bribery

File Photo: Terry Spicer
File Photo: Terry Spicer

Former state Rep. Terry Spicer of Elba has pleaded guilty to taking more than $100,000 in bribes from a casino developer and lobbyist.

Spicer entered his plea in federal court Tuesday in Montgomery. US Magistrate Judge Wallace Capel Jr. will sentence him later. He is the fourth person to plead guilty in Alabama's gambling corruption investigation. The guilty plea was part of a deal Spicer worked out with federal prosecutors.

Spicer, 47, admitted he took about $31,000 in cash payments, $9,000 for a boat, and a $10,000 Colorado ski trip from lobbyist Jarrod Massey, who has pleaded guilty in the gambling corruption investigation.

The former representative also admitted soliciting and receiving $30,000 in campaign contributions and more than more than 300 BamaJam music festival tickets worth $22,500 from casino developer Ronnie Gilley, who has also pleaded guilty.

The maximum penalty for bribery is 10 years in prison. Defense attorney David Belser said sentencing guidelines call for four to five years but his client hopes for less.

"He's scared and upset, but he's accepted responsibility for what he did," Belser said.

Belser expects Spicer to be sentenced after the first of the year. Part of his plea deal calls for him to forfeit $40,000.

On Monday, Spicer moved from Elba school superintendent into a new education job in anticipation of the guilty plea.

The Elba school board decided Monday to switch Spicer to director of operations. State law would not have allowed Spicer to remain as superintendent after pleading guilty to a felony charge. The principal of Elba Elementary School, Lakesha Brackins, was named interim superintendent.