Mayor pleads guilty to Felony Ethics Violations, made child support payments

(MONTGOMERY) – Attorney General Luther Strange announced the filing of an Information and subsequent plea of guilty entered by Walter S. Hill, former mayor of the Town of Mosses (Lowndes County), on a felony ethics violation for using his office for personal gain in the total amount of $25,370.37 on January 6, 2017. Hill resigned the day before he pled guilty to the felony ethics violation in Montgomery County Circuit Court.

Hill was previously convicted of misdemeanor ethics charges in 2014, and remained in office. Due to these felony charges he resigned last week rather than being removed automatically from office.

“Mr. Hill has committed flagrant abuses of the public trust and taxpayers’ money for too long,” said Attorney General Strange. “It is extremely important that this case has resulted in him no longer being in office.”

The Information filed by the Attorney General Strange’s Special Prosecutions Division charged Hill with unlawfully directing money, in the form of checks drawn on the town’s bank accounts, to himself. Specifically:

Mayor Hill used Town of Mosses funds to make his child support payments that were processed by the Department of Human Resources in Montgomery County. He then created fraudulent records in an attempt to conceal his theft.
Mayor Hill issued unauthorized payroll checks to Town of Mosses employees and deposited them into his personal bank account in Montgomery County.
Mayor Hill issued himself six additional monthly stipend payments without authorization or approval. He then deposited the payments into his personal bank account.
Mayor Hill issued himself reimbursement payments for property lost in a fire at his residence. The alleged lost property was not covered by insurance, and the payments for reimbursement were not authorized or approved. He then deposited the payments into his personal bank account.
Mayor Hill issued himself multiple other checks on the Town of Mosses’ account without authorization or approval. He then deposited the checks into his personal bank account.
Mayor Hill’s schemes resulted in the unlawful personal gain of $25,370.37.
Hill faces a potential penalty of two to 20 years’ imprisonment for his ethics violation, which is a Class B felony. Hill’s sentencing has been set for February 15, 2017.

Attorney General Strange praised those involved in bringing this case to successful resolution, noting in particular Assistant Attorney General Katie Langer and Special Agents of his Special Prosecutions Division. He also thanked the special agents of the Alabama Ethics Commission and the Alabama State Fire Marshal’s Office for their cooperation and assistance in the investigation.

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