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Mayor of small Dallas County town indicted on state ethics charge

Published: Aug. 31, 2021 at 6:30 PM CDT
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ORRVILLE, Ala. (WSFA) - A Dallas County grand jury has indicted Louvenia Lumpkin, the mayor of the small town of Orrville on a single ethics charge. The indictment centers on the purchase of a gray, one-story home on South Church Street in town.

The ethics charge is a class B felony, a charge that accuses the mayor of using her office for personal gain for a family member.

A few years ago Mayor Lumpkin’s mother-in-law bought the home for $30,000 with the understanding the funds would go to the city treasury.

“Obviously, you can’t use taxpayers money to pay for your family member,” said Dallas County District Attorney Michael Jackson, who estimated over a three year period the mayor allegedly used taxpayer money to pay a little more than $2,000 worth of property taxes and utility bills.

“The problem was the town was paying some of the property taxes and some of the utilities while mother-in-law was in the house,” Jackson said.

WSFA 12 News spoke briefly with the mayor on Tuesday and she indicated she would need to talk with the town attorney first before responding to the charge. So far, there’s been no response.

“And they decided there was probable cause for prosecution and it was sent to me,” Jackson said of the indictment.

The written complaint to the Alabama Ethics Commission was submitted in August of 2019, filed by a citizen of Orrville who accused the mayor of violating two sections of the state’s ethic laws.

WSFA 12 News also reached out to Mike Donahe, who is listed as the complainant in the ethics complaint, but was unable to reach him for comment.

Lumpkin was elected to her third term last fall. Alabama law will automatically remove her from office if she’s convicted on the felony charge.

DA Jackson said the next step in the legal process would be the mayor’s arraignment.

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