LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. (WAFF) - Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely is facing 13 counts of theft and ethics charges. Blakely was arrested on Thursday and released on bond.
The charges range from multiple years, according to a statement from Attorney General Steve Marshall. The first four counts are connected to alleged thefts from his campaign account totaling $11,000. Six counts are connected to money reportedly taken from Limestone County funds.
One count is connected to an alleged solicitation of a wire transfer of $1,000 from a subordinate.
The final counts claim Blakely used his official position to obtain interest-free loans by taking money from a safe that was used to store personal funds from inmates. Count 12 also claims Blakely used his position to obtain interest-free loans on a $50,000 cashier’s check and $22,000 in credit.
Blakely’s attorney Mark McDaniel told WAFF 48 News his client will be entering a not guilty plea.
“Public officials are entrusted to perform their duties honestly and above reproach,” said Attorney General Marshall. “When that bond of trust is broken, our society suffers undue harm. My office—working with our federal and state partners—is committed to ensuring that the violators of the public trust be held accountable under the law," added Marshall.
Blakely was named in an ethics investigation in October 2018. A commission spokesman stated there was probable cause Blakely violated the Alabama Ethics Act. The details of the investigation were not released at the time. The case was referred to the Alabama attorney general’s office.
Blakely was sworn in as Sheriff of Limestone County in 1983 and was elected to his tenth term in 2018. Blakely worked as an Alabama State Trooper from 1972 to 1983.
The case is being prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Special Prosecutions Division.