Chancellor Bradley Byrne Issues Statement on Schmitz Arrest

File Photo of Bradley Byrne
File Photo of Bradley Byrne

Montgomery, Alabama - Alabama Community College System Chancellor Bradley Byrne issued a statement Thursday responding to the news that federal prosecutors have arrested a north Alabama legislator who formerly worked for a program serving at-risk youth.

Rep. Sue Schmitz (D-Toney) is charged with taking more than $175,000 in two-year college payments for work she never did with the Community Intensive Treatment for Youth Skills Training Consortium, or CITY Program. The CITY Program, whose administrative offices are housed at Central Alabama Community College in Alexander City, is an alternative day treatment program for troubled youths who are on probation. In 2007, the program served 534 youths ages 12-17.

"Even though Rep. Schmitz was terminated in late 2006," Byrne said, "she continues to fight the termination, claiming that she was due fair dismissal rights, which is completely false. She was not a college teacher or otherwise employed in one of those positions covered under the Fair Dismissal Act.  The Alabama Education Association keeps trying to expand the definitions of who is covered, and we have no choice but to continue to fight AEA in court. It's a very expensive fight, and the dollars certainly could be put to better use in expanding programs that help at-risk kids.

"It's frustrating for me see that we have a double-dipper who has been indicted on charges of defrauding the system, but we're still having to pay lawyers to fight this baseless claim." Byrne said. "It certainly adds insult to injury as we work to reform the system and institute new accountability systems to prevent such things from happening again."