Cullman County District Attorney Wilson Blaylock and Sheriff Matt
Gentry announces that Shannon James and Leslie Johnson have been arrested on felony charges concerning the theft of public funds from the Town of Garden City.
The arrests come after a nearly three-month investigation by the Cullman County Sheriff’s Office, Alabama Ethics Commission, and District Attorney’s Office. The investigation revealed that James and Johnson, who are both former employees of the Town, stole more thaN $200,000.00 from the Town by forging checks, making fraudulent debit/credit card purchases, and fabricating work time.
Shannon James is charged with two felony ethics violations, aggravated theft of public funds, and six counts of possession of forged instrument 3rd degree. Leslie Johnson is charged with two felony ethics violations, aggravated theft of public funds, and three counts of possession of forged instrument 3rd degree. At the request of the District Attorney’s Office, investigators submitted a bail request. A judge will determine the suspects’ bond amounts.
The Town of Garden City released the following statement from their attorneys at Griffith, Lowry & Meherg, LLC:
“Several weeks ago, the Town of Garden City discovered that individuals had misappropriated a substantial amount of funds belonging to the Town. After a preliminary investigation by the Town, this matter was referred to local law enforcement.
The Town would like to thank Sheriff Matt Gentry and his office, along with District Attorney Wilson Blaylock and his office, and the Alabama Ethics Commission for their tireless coordinated efforts in this investigation.
The Town will continue working with law enforcement in this matter.”
Additional details will be released at a joint press conference held on Thursday, November 18th at 10:00 a.m. in the Small Courtroom on the Third Floor of the Cullman County Courthouse District Attorney Wilson Blaylock, Sheriff Matt Gentry, and representatives from the Alabama Ethics Commission and the Town of Garden City will be in attendance.
Arrest records are public information. Any indication of an arrest does not mean the individual identified has been convicted of a crime. All persons arrested are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
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