Surprise, caution following ethics allegation against Marshall Co. Sheriff

Published: Aug. 11, 2015 at 9:50 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 8, 2015 at 10:04 PM CDT
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MARSHALL COUNTY, AL (WAFF) - Some residents in Marshall County reacted with surprise when they learned the state ethics commission believes their sheriff violated state ethics

In a statement from the commission's executive director, Thomas Albritton, he says the commission met on Aug. 5 and voted in an open meeting as follows:

Based on the evidence presented to this commission, there exists cause to hold that J. Scott Walls has violated the Alabama Ethics law.

Albritton says the case will be sent to the district attorney for review and prosecution.

MORE: Sheriff accused of violating ethics law

The determination by the commission appears to have stunned members of the community.

"It did surprise me because he's got a good name here and all until now," said resident Marlon Adcock.

Following a hearing and determination last week, the independent board is now turning over the case to the local district attorney's office.

District Attorney Steve Marshall is awaiting the case and said he will send the case to the attorney general for appointment of a special prosecutor.

Meanwhile, local officials are also reacting to the news with a mixture of concern and caution.

"We fund that department, and really, I just heard about this late Friday afternoon," said Marshall County Commission Chairman James Hutcheson. "I hadn't really had the chance to talk to anybody. I don't know all the details of it."

Currently, details are hard to come by, as officials with the attorney general's office have said they cannot comment with regard to ongoing investigations.

The lack of information adds to the community's concerns.

"Because you don't know if it's murder or a little misdemeanor," explained resident Stephanie Olson.

Walls' attorney, Randy Beard, says at this point, they really have nothing to comment on, as the Sheriff has not been charged with anything.

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