Posted by: Lawyer Sanders | April 7, 2010

Jeffrey M. Sanders says federal jury returns guilty verdict against Clay County officials in public corruption trial.

Eight powerful politicians in Clay County were convicted of corrupting the election process by a federal jury last week. After deliberating for more than 9 hours over two days, the jury returned a guilty verdict convicting:  

  • Cleatus Maricle;
  • Douglas Adams;
  • County Clerk Freddy W. Thompson;
  • Magistrate Stanley Bowling;
  • Charles Wayne Jones, a former Democratic election commissioner;
  • William Stivers, a former election official; 
  • William Bart Morris, who owns a garbage-transfer company, and his wife:
  • Debi Morris, who owns a beauty shop.

The prosecution said that the eight defendants participated in an illegal scheme to buy votes in Clay County elections held in 2002, 2004 and 2006. According to the federal prosecutor, the defendants used the county board of elections as a vehicle to buy and steal votes.  They then used their illgotten elected positions to steal jobs and public contracts according to the government.

Each defendant faces up to 20 years in federal prison, though their sentences will may be less under federal advisory guidelines.  Wham, bam, and goodnight to the Clay County Eight. 

For goodness sakes, the federal prosecutor caught a judge, a court clerk, a school superintendent, an election office, a beautician, and a garbage man with their hands in the old till.  Sadly, somethings just don’t change in the world.

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