Prosecutors Say Alabama Police Chief Didn’t Steal Overtime Pay, Ask Charges Dropped

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) – Prosecutors are seeking to drop burglary charges against a former police chief in suburban Mobile.

Mobile County District Attorney Keith Blackwood told WALA-TV Monday that prosecutors found evidence of “questionable accounting” but concluded that Jerry Taylor did not receive illegal overtime pay when he was police chief in Creola.

Taylor is now the police chief in Jackson, Alabama.

Prosecutors asked Mobile County District Judge Charles Graddick to dismiss the case, saying the charges should be dropped after “further investigation.”

In 2019, then-Mobile County District Attorney Ashley Rich said Taylor and former Creola City Clerk Kim Green stole from the city.

“The investigation revealed that both Green and Taylor received numerous unexplained checks from Creola at times that did not conform to scheduled payment periods or typical reimbursement procedures,” Rich said at the time.

But Blackwood said prosecutors now believe Taylor owed all of the money he was paid.

“We found that at the time he was being paid, he was actually working,” Blackwood said. “It was a payment method that raised some red flags because the payment schedule was unusual. However, we found that he was actually working those hours and therefore no criminal activity was involved.

Taylor’s attorney, Stuart Hanley, said he showed prosecutors evidence that would have exonerated Taylor. Prosecutors filed the charges Wednesday ahead of a trial scheduled for Monday.

“I think they made the right choice,” Henley told the broadcaster.

Green pleaded guilty in January in state court to first-degree theft and personal gain. The judge sentenced him to 2.5 years probation and 2 years probation.

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He pleaded guilty in federal court in 2020 to theft of federal funds and filing false tax returns in connection with money embezzled from Creole in 2017-2017 and later from the city of Pritchard, where he also worked, from 2017-2019.

A federal judge sentenced him to a year in prison in 2021, ordered him to undergo gambling addiction treatment and pay $444,000 in restitution.

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