Sheriff Mike Blakely was in court on Tuesday in Limestone County, where he pleaded “not guilty” to charges including theft, using his official position or office to acquire interest-free loans, and ethics charges stemming from his illegal taking money from Limestone County funds, including from the Sheriff’s Law Enforcement Fund.
According to Blakely’s attorney, Robert Tuten the Judge is asking both sides to resolve the case.
“I think in our position this situation will likely go to trial. I don’t think there’s any common ground between the two sides, that either side is willing to agree to that can get this resolved. So at this point I think a settlement is highly unlikely but the judge wants us to continue talking and we’ll certainly do that,” Tuten added.
A trial date was set for March 9th, 2020.
Blakely was arrested on the charges in August. He posted the $49,000 bond and returned to work. Earlier in the case, he filed a motion to declare state ethics laws unconstitutional, claiming the laws are vague and overly broad.
All four Limestone County judges recused themselves from hearing the case against Blakely. Retired Colbert County Circuit Court Judge Pride Tompkins will hear the case.
- The first four counts charge Blakely with four separate thefts from his campaign account that total $11,000
- Counts five through 10 charge Blakely with theft or ethics charges stemming from his illegal taking money from Limestone County funds, including from the Sheriff’s Law Enforcement Fund.
- Count 11 charges Blakely with soliciting a $1,000 wire transfer from a subordinate other than in the ordinary course of business.
- Counts 12 and 13 charge Blakely with using his official position or office to acquire interest-free loans. Specifically, count 12 charges Blakely with using his official position or office to obtain interest-free loans in the form of a $50,000 cashier’s check and/or a $22,189.68 credit. Count 13 charges Blakely with using his official position or office to obtain interest-free loans by taking money from a safe that was used to store the Limestone County inmates’ personal funds.
12 of the charges are felonies.
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