Alabama Supreme Court presides over sheriff's impeachment

AP News
Posted: Jul 25, 2016 2:11 PM

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama sheriff went on trial Monday before the Alabama Supreme Court on impeachment charges including corruption and neglect of duty.

Sumter County Sheriff Tyrone Clark Sr. has denied any wrongdoing and is not facing criminal charges, but he would be removed from the office he was re-elected to in 2014 if the justices rule against him.

The county grand jury detailed numerous allegations against Clark in a report dated April 7, about a month after state and federal authorities raided the jail in Livingston, located near the Mississippi state line.

A report from Attorney General Luther Strange's office said prisoner Rodney Coats, 39, was supposed to remain behind bars on $675,000 bond on charges including assault, methamphetamine and cocaine trafficking and receiving stolen property. Instead, Clark ordered staff not to shake him down, gave him access to firearms, enabled him to engage in human trafficking from inside the jail, and arranged an unsecured room where Coats had sex with visiting women who had not been searched or monitored.

The sheriff also allegedly allowed another inmate, Ronald James, to leave the jail for long periods, endangering the safety of a burglary victim.

Other allegations involve an unauthorized work-release program; Officials said Clark allowed inmates out on condition they paid him part of their wages in kickbacks, and that some of the inmates worked at Clark's home.