Birmingham councilwoman Lashunda Scales pleads guilty to misdemeanor charge and voter violation
Birmingham City Councilwoman Lashunda Scales pleaded guilty Thursday to one misdemeanor count of ethics violations and one count of interference with an elector after being indicted on June 4 of three felony charges.
Scales was sentenced to one year in jail by Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge Tommy Nail before the sentence was conditionally suspended at the recommendation of the deputy district attorney Patrick Lamb. She was given one year of unsupervised probation and ordered to pay court costs.
The three felony counts were "dismissed with prejudice," according to court records obtained by ABC 33/40.
"I work hard at everything that I do, and I will continue to work hard to maintain the trust of you -- the citizens of Birmingham." Scales said in a released statement through her attorney, Jim Sturdivant. "There may have been times when I was overly zealous in trying tog et something accomplished, but I have not intentionally engaged in criminal activity for professional or personal gain."
Attorney Jim Sturdivant (right) reads a statement from his client, Birmingham City Councilwoman Lashunda Scales, following the court ruling Thursday, June 20, 2013. (abc3340.com)
An ethics complaint filed in 2011 accused Scales of using city police equipment for personal business and using her position as a council member to settle a personal dispute in 2010.
The voting interference charge, which is a "Violation" under Alabama law, stems from improper contact between Scales and a voter at a polling place during the October 2012 Birmingham bond referendum.
"While Ms. Scales had been previously warned about discussing issues on the ballot inside the polling place, she initiated contact with a voter in regards to matters on the ballot." district attorney Brandon Falls said in a news release.