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AG STRANGE ANNOUNCES INDICTMENTS OF FORMER TROOPER AND FORMER DPS CUSTODIAN ON FELONY THEFT AND ETHICS CHARGES

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From the Office of Attorney General Luther Strange

(MONTGOMERY)–Attorney General Luther Strange announced the arrests today of two former Alabama Department of Public Safety employees for felony theft and ethics violations.  Kenneth Robert Grissett, 50, of Northport, and Earl M. Champion, 65, of Cottondale, each surrendered today at the Tuscaloosa County Jail.  Mr. Grissett was a state trooper and Mr. Champion was a building custodian. Both were assigned to the Tuscaloosa State Trooper Post until they resigned from their positions in March 2011.

Attorney General Strange’s Office presented evidence to a Tuscaloosa County Grand Jury, resulting in the indictments* on February 1.

Specifically, the indictment returned against Grissett charges him with:

  • Second-degree theft of gasoline valued at more than $500, occurring and continuing between the approximate dates of January 2010 and February 2011;
  • Intentional use of his official public position as an Alabama State Trooper for unlawful personal gain to himself or a family member, the gain being of gasoline, occurring and continuing between the approximate dates of January 2010 and February 2011; and
  • Intentional use or causing the use of equipment facilities, time, materials, labor, or other public property under his discretion and control, which had a material effect to his own private or business benefit, occurring and continuing between the approximate dates of January 2010 and February 2011.

Specifically, the indictment returned against Champion charges him with:

  • Second-degree theft of gasoline valued at more than $500, occurring and continuing between the approximate dates of April 7, 2010, and March 8, 2011; and
  • Intentional use of his official public position as an Alabama Department of Public Safety building custodian, for unlawful personal gain to himself or a family member, the gain being of gasoline, occurring and continuing between the approximate dates of April 7, 2010, and March 8, 2011.

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

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Second-degree theft is a class C felony, punishable by one year and a day, to 10 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $15,000. Use of official position for personal gain, a violation of the state ethics law, is a class B felony, with each count punishable by two to 20 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $30,000.

Attorney General Strange commended those involved in the cases, noting the Alabama Bureau of Investigation, Deputy Attorney General Mike Duffy and Assistant Attorney General Pete Smyczek of the Attorney General’s Public Corruption and White Collar Crime Division.

*An indictment is merely an accusation. Defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

 

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