Alabama’s longest-serving sheriff spent Monday night behind bars in his own jail. Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely was convicted by a jury on Monday afternoon of two of the 10 felony theft and ethics charges he faced. Blakely could face prison time for improperly depositing a $4,000 campaign check into his personal account and using funds from prisoners’ accounts as short-term personal loans.
“Public officials must set the highest example of accountability, and no matter how long someone holds office they are not above the law,” said Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall. “Sheriff Blakely repeatedly swore an oath to enforce and obey the law during his 40 years in office, and he now knows the consequences of violating that oath. I want to thank the Limestone County jury for carefully reviewing all the facts of this case and reaching a just conclusion.”
Blakely faces possibly two to 20 years in prison on each count.
Following the verdict, Blakely’s attorneys noted that he was convicted on just two of the original 13 charges. They promised to appeal.
Blakely was immediately removed from office and Gov. Kay Ivey’s office said Monday that she would appoint a replacement. The governor’s office said it would begin accepting resumes for the position immediately.
Under Limestone County law, until a replacement is named, Coroner Mike West will take over as sheriff.