Roanoke Mayor Arrested on Ethics Charges - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Roanoke Mayor Arrested on Ethics Charges

ROANOKE MAYOR ARRESTED ON ETHICS, OTHER CHARGES

(MONTGOMERY)-Attorney General Troy King announced the arrest today of Roanoke Mayor Henry "Spec" Bonner on a 26-count indictment charging him with multiple alleged felonies, including numerous violations of the state ethics and public contract laws.  Bonner surrendered this morning at the Randolph County Jail and was released on bond.

Attorney General King's Office presented evidence to a Randolph County grand jury resulting in Bonner's indictment on January 8 for 11 counts of ethics law violation, two counts of violation of public works law, one count of failure to disclose conflict of interest, 10 counts of conflict of interest in purchase or contract, and one count of violating the competitive bid law.

"This defendant faces serious charges that he abused his public office for personal gain, that he broke the laws he was sworn to uphold, and that he betrayed the citizens' trust," said Attorney General King.  "The crimes charged in this indictment are extremely serious, and the people of Roanoke may be assured that we will pursue justice on their behalf."

Specifically, the indictment charges Bonner with:

  • Count 1, Violation of Public Works Law, by willfully entering a contract with Morris Building Constructors, Inc., and/or Hall Grading, LLC, for site grading earthwork at the Roanoke Industrial Park, involving an amount in excess of $50,000 without advertising for sealed bids in violation of Section 39-2-2 of the Code of Alabama;
  • Count 2, Violation of Public Works Law, willfully, by remitting payment of $220,000 for site grading earthwork at the Roanoke Industrial Park, performed by Morris Building Constructors, Inc., and/or Hall Grading, LLC, when the project involved an amount in excess of $50,000 and had not been advertised for sealed bids, in violation of Section 39-2-2 of the Code of Alabama;
  • Count 3, Misapplication of Property, by knowingly misapplying $220,000 belonging to the City of Roanoke, with the knowledge that this misapplication of city funds involved substantial risk of loss or detriment to the property's owner, which was the City of Roanoke, in violation of Section 13A-9-51 of the Code of Alabama;
  • Count 4, Use of Official Position for Personal Gain, by intentionally using his position as mayor for the unlawful personal gain of $11,462 from Hall Grading, LLC, for himself or a business with which he was associated-Handley Distributing Co., Inc.-in violation of Section 36-25-5 (a) of the Code of Alabama;
  • Count 5, Failure to Disclose Conflict of Interest, in his capacity as a public servant by knowingly exercising a substantial discretionary function-the authorization of city checks in connection with a governmental contract or transaction-by paying $220,000 to Morris Constructors Inc., without advance public disclosure of a known potential conflicting interest in the transaction, in violation of Section 13A-10-62 of the Code of Alabama;
  • Count 6, Conflict of Interest in Purchase or Contract, as a member or officer of the governing body of a municipality, by willfully purchasing or contracting to buy $12,385 in fuel and/or services from Handley Distributing Company, Inc., being financially interested or having any personal interest in the purchase or contract, in violation of Section 41-16-60 of the Code of Alabama;
  • Count 7, Use of Office for Personal Gain, by intentionally using his public office as mayor for unlawful personal gain of $12,385 for himself or a business with which he was associated, Handley Distributing Co., Inc., in violation of Section 36-25-5(a) of the Code of Alabama;
  • Count 8, Conflict of Interest in Purchase or Contract, as a member or officer of the governing body of a municipality, by willfully purchasing or contracting to buy $14,011 in fuel and/or services from Handley Distributing Co., Inc., being financially interested or having any personal interest in the purchase or contract, in violation of Section 41-16-60 of the Code of Alabama;
  • Count 9, Use of Official Position for Personal Gain, by intentionally using his public office as mayor for unlawful personal gain of $14,011 for himself or a business with which he was associated, Handley Distributing Co., Inc., in violation of Section 36-25-5(a) of the Code of Alabama;
  • Count 10, Conflict of Interest in Purchase or Contract, as a member or officer of the governing body of a municipality, by willfully purchasing or contracting to buy $3,583 in fuel and/or services from Handley Distributing Co., Inc., being financially interested or having any personal interest in the purchase or contract, in violation of Section 41-16-60 of the Code of Alabama;
  • Count 11, Use of Official Position for Personal Gain, by intentionally using his position as mayor for the unlawful personal gain of $3,583, for himself or a business with which he was associated, Handley Distributing Co., Inc., in violation of Section 36-25-5(a) of the Code of Alabama;
  • Count 12, Conflict of Interest in Purchase or Contract, as a member or officer of the governing body of a municipality, by willfully purchasing or contracting to buy $7,707 in fuel and/or services from Handley Distributing Co., Inc., being financially interested or having any personal interest in the purchase or contract, in violation of Section 41-16-60 of the Code of Alabama;
  • Count 13, Use of Official Position for Personal Gain, by intentionally using his position as mayor for the unlawful personal gain of $7,707 for himself or a business with which he was associated, Handley Distributing Co., Inc., in violation of Section 36-25-5(a) of the Code of Alabama;
  • Count 14, Conflict of Interest in Purchase or Contract, as a member or officer of the governing body of a municipality, by willfully purchasing or contracting to buy $8,052 in fuel and/or services from Handley Distributing Co., Inc., being financially interested or having any personal interest in the purchase or contract, in violation of Section 41-16-60 of the Code of Alabama;
  • Count 15, Use of Official Position for Personal Gain, by intentionally using his position as mayor for the unlawful personal gain of $8,052 for himself or a business with which he was associated, Handley Distributing Co., Inc., in violation of Section 36-25-5(a) of the Code of Alabama;
  • Count 16, Conflict of Interest in Purchase or Contract, as a member or officer of the governing body of a municipality, by willfully purchasing or contracting to buy $5,291 in fuel and/or services from Handley Distributing Co., Inc., being financially interested or having any personal interest in the purchase or contract, in violation of Section 41-16-60 of the Code of Alabama;
  • Count 17, Use of Official Position for Personal Gain, by intentionally using his position as mayor for the unlawful personal gain of $5,291 for himself or a business with which he was associated, Handley Distributing Co., Inc., in violation of Section 36-25-5(a) of the Code of Alabama;
  • Count 18, Conflict of Interest in Purchase or Contract, as a member or officer of the governing body of a municipality, by willfully purchasing or contracting to buy $7,160 in fuel and/or services from Handley Distributing Co., Inc., being financially interested or having any personal interest in the purchase or contract, in violation of Section 41-16-60 of the Code of Alabama;
  • Count 19, Use of Official Position for Personal Gain, by intentionally using his position as mayor for the unlawful personal gain of $7,160 for himself or a business with which he was associated, Handley Distributing Co., Inc., in violation of Section 36-25-5(a) of the Code of Alabama;
  • Count 20, Conflict of Interest in Purchase or Contract, as a member or officer of the governing body of a municipality, by willfully purchasing or contracting to buy $6,495 in fuel and/or services from Handley Distributing Co., Inc., being financially interested or having any personal interest in the purchase or contract, in violation of Section 41-16-60 of the Code of Alabama;
  • Count 21, Use of Official Position for Personal Gain, by intentionally using his position as mayor for the unlawful personal gain of $6,495 for himself or a business with which he was associated, Handley Distributing Co., Inc., in violation of Section 36-25-5(a) of the Code of Alabama;
  • Count 22, Conflict of Interest in Purchase or Contract, as a member or officer of the governing body of a municipality, by willfully purchasing or contracting to buy $3,703 in fuel and/or services from Handley Distributing Co., Inc., being financially interested or having any personal interest in the purchase or contract, in violation of Section 41-16-60 of the Code of Alabama;
  • Count 23, Use of Official Position for Personal Gain, by intentionally using his position as mayor for the unlawful personal gain of $3,703 for himself or a business with which he was associated, Handley Distributing Co., Inc., in violation of Section 36-25-5(a) of the Code of Alabama;
  • Count 24, Conflict of Interest in Purchase or Contract, as a member or officer of the governing body of a municipality, by willfully purchasing or contracting to buy $6,741 in fuel and/or services from Handley Distributing Co., Inc., being financially interested or having any personal interest in the purchase or contract, in violation of Section 41-16-60 of the Code of Alabama;
  • Count 25, Use of Official Position for Personal Gain, by intentionally using his position as mayor for the unlawful personal gain of $6,741 for himself or a business with which he was associated, Handley Distributing Co., Inc., in violation of Section 36-25-5(a) of the Code of Alabama;
  • Count 26, Violation of Competitive Bid Law, as Mayor of Roanoke, by willfully making a purchase or awarding a contract-the purchase of fuel and/or services from Handley Distributing Co., Inc.-when purchase or contract involved $7,500 or more and had not been made under free and open competitive bidding, on sealed bids, to the lowest responsible bidder, which is in violation of Section 41-16-60 of the Code of Alabama.

No further information about the investigation or about Bonner's alleged crimes other than that stated in the indictment may be released at this time.

The ethics law violations with which Bonner is charged are Class B felonies; the violations of public works law are class C felonies; misapplication of property is a class A misdemeanor; failure to disclose conflict of interest is a class A misdemeanor; violation of competitive bid law, and conflict of interest in purchase or contract, both are misdemeanors. If convicted, Bonner faces a maximum penalties of two to 20 years imprisonment and fines of up to $30,000 for each of the class B felony counts; one to ten years and fines of up to $15,000 for each of the class C felony counts; up to one year imprisonment and fine of up to $6,000 for the class A misdemeanor count. Violation of competitive bid law, and conflict of interest in purchase or contract, both are unclassified misdemeanors specified as punishable by up to 12 months imprisonment and up to $500 fines for each count. 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.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Ben Baxley of the Attorney General's Public Corruption and White Collar Crime Division, and was investigated by Special Agent Jeff Chandler of Attorney General King's Investigations Division.

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