Fmr. Autauga Co. Commissioner guilty on ethics violations, theft - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Fmr. Autauga Co. Commissioner guilty on ethics violations, theft charges

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AUTAUGA CO., AL (WSFA) -

Former Autauga County Commission chairman Danny Chavers is pleading guilty to five felony charges. Two of the charges are for violations of Alabama's ethics laws and three are for first degree theft.

Wednesday's court appearance was the deadline for Chavers to enter his plea. He had been indicted on nine counts but only pleaded to five.

In November of 2013 a grand jury indicted Chavers on charges related to public corruption and misappropriation of taxpayer dollars. Relatedcharges still are pending against Ernest Terry Stoudemire of Autaugaville alsoformer chief of the Autaugaville VFD; and Mack Cell Harmon of Autaugaville, isa former assistant chief of the Autaugaville VFD.

Chavers resigned from his post on the Commission in 2010, but the nine indictments surrounded the use of his position as former Autaugaville VFD chief and head of the Autaugaville Water Works.

The prosecution says Chavers, as chief of the Autaugaville VFD, used his office topurchase personal items from Victoria's Secret, restaurants and hotels inFlorida, gas stations, online gambling and a casino in Mississippi. He also falsified documents to obtain grants as well as using his position to obtain checks meant for the the town of Autaugaville for his own personal use. In total, the counts include the misuse of $294,000 in tax payer money.

"These are serious crimes involving extensive betrayal of the publictrust and theft of taxpayers' money," said Alabama Attorney General Strange in a statement released regarding the conviction. "I ampleased that this defendant stands convicted for these violations, but I hopethat he will meet with a punishment fitting of what he has done. At the time ofsentencing, we will seek jail time as well as restitution."

Chavers will be sentenced on May 14. The ethics violations and first-degree theft chargesare class B felonies, punishable by two to 20 years imprisonment and fines ofup to $30,000 for each count

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