Ex-Limestone County Sheriff found in violation of his work release, Franklin County Sheriff says

Franklin County Sheriff Shannon Oliver said ex-Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely has been out on work release for months.
Published: Nov. 9, 2023 at 3:56 PM CST
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FRANKLIN CO., Ala. (WAFF) - Franklin County Sheriff Shannon Oliver said ex-Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely has been out on work release for months.

However, Sheriff Oliver said he found Blakely in violation of his work release. Blakely works at a business in Muscle Shoals and was seen walking around the Foodland located right next door to his place of work. Sheriff Oliver said it is not out of the ordinary to take inmates who are out on work release into surrounding counties if they are a reasonable distance away.

“We’ve done it before with others,” Sheriff Oliver said. “We take them to their job site within a reasonable area. It’s about twenty minutes. It’s not real far at all.”

According to ADOC’s work release policies, work release inmates cannot enter any free-world stores or businesses. They are also not allowed to make any purchases. Initially, Blakely was under ADOC custody, but after he was sent to the Franklin County Jail, the jail took over jurisdiction over Blakely. Gerald Murray, the owner of Gerald Murray’s Factory Outlet and Blakely’s employer, said that if it is in the job description to send Blakely places then it should be allowed under his work release guidelines. Blakely has been working there since February.

“Our property adjoins a Foodland next door and I sent him over to pick up some paper towels for us and that’s where that photo came from,” Murray said. “It’s just on a work release program and what he does during the time he’s here, that anything is okay just as long as it’s something we tell him to do.”

Shopping is not the only claim viewers have reached out to us about. WAFF asked Sheriff Oliver if Blakely was being taken to doctors appoints by family members. The sheriff confirmed a family member did take Blakely to the doctor early on in his sentence. However, Oliver said his medical needs are now being taken care at the jail.

Those health issues are at the forefront of Blakely’s attorneys new motion to get him back home. His new attorney filed a motion to transfer his sentence to the supervision of Limestone County Community Corrections. Meaning he would serve probation at home.

Blakely was the Sheriff for 38 years until he was convicted of felony theft and ethics charges after a weeks-long trial in August 2021. He was found guilty of stealing campaign donations and using county funds as personal loans in 2021.

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