Alabama sheriff charged with calling casino assistant and asking her to take cash from jail vault, charged with theft and corruption for ‘stealing $29,000 in inmates’ money’
- Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely has been charged with 11 charges of theft and abuse
- The veteran law enforcement officer reportedly stole $29,050 in inmates’ money that was stored in a vault at a prison
- On several occasions, he called his assistant in prison and asked her to pay him money from the safe
- Later, he gave the assistant checks from his personal bank account to replace the stolen money
- Blakely is said to have shut down the practice in mid-2016 after receiving more than $900,000 in his bank account
- It’s unclear where that money came from, but his lawyer suggested Blakely won hundreds of thousands of dollars
A high-profile sheriff called his assistant from a Las Vegas casino and ordered her to transfer him cash stored in a safe deposit box at a jail, according to testimony in an Alabama court.
The bomb claim was filed Tuesday at the trial of Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely, who faces 11 charges of theft and abuse, charged with “borrowing” $29,050 in prison money for three years.
Prosecutors allege that between 2013 and 2016, the sheriff “abused his position for personal gain by obtaining interest-free loans from the vault.” Most of the money would have belonged to prisoners.
Blakely, who has served as county sheriff since 1983, pleaded not guilty to all charges. He faces automatic removal from office if convicted.
Ramona Robinson, who previously worked as a prison clerk in Limestone County, testified on Tuesday that she transferred $500 to Blakely at the Palace Station Casino in Sin City on Nov. 8, 2014.
Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely has been charged with 11 charges of theft and abuse after allegedly ‘borrowing’ $29,050 in prison money over a three-year period
She claimed her boss asked her to transfer more money the following year when he returned to the same casino.
Robinson told the court she didn’t know what Blakely needed the money for. “I didn’t ask and he didn’t tell,” she said. AL.com.
Blakely’s attorneys took that, saying the sheriff may need the money for law enforcement purposes.
They claim it is impossible to prove that Blakely used the money for personal reasons.
Blakely “eventually” gave her 19 checks from his personal bank account to replace the inmates’ money, Robinson said.
However, the sheriff allegedly asked her to hold the checks for several weeks before depositing them so that his account would not be overdrawn.
Ramona Robinson, who previously worked as a prison clerk in Limestone County, testified on Tuesday that she transferred $500 to Blakely while he was gambling at the Palace Station Casino in Sin City on Nov. 8, 2014
The money, most of which belonged to prisoners, was stored in prison
Prosecutors allege that Blakely only stopped taking “loans” from the inmate’s vault in mid-2016, when more than $900,000 was mysteriously deposited into his account. It is not clear where the money came from.
However, Blakely was known as a gambler, winning a whopping $250,000 in Tennessee that same year.
However, his attorney, Nick Lough, insinuated that his client may have won the lottery.
“Is it illegal to win the lottery?” Lough asked in the courtroom.
Blakely’s trial continues this week.
Prosecutors allege that Blakely only stopped taking “loans” from the inmate’s vault in mid-2016, when more than $900,000 was mysteriously deposited into his account around the same time.