Mobile County Sheriff’s Department Review

MOBILE, AL – On Thursday, a Mobile County Circuit Court judge held the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office and Mobile County District Attorney’s office in contempt of court for disobeying court orders in the case they filed against local businessman Doug Roberts. | Roberts was arrested in 2016 for allegedly impersonating a peace officer, and all 30 of the charges against him have since been dismissed. When Roberts was originally arrested, the Sheriff’s Office seized dozens of items from his house but has refused to return them despite multiple court orders to do so. | The Sheriff’s office contended that Roberts had been illegally impersonating a Deputy Constable for several days in 2016. However, that claim was quickly refuted by Constable Dale Dorsey who testified that Roberts was actually his deputy and was a sworn law enforcement officer. | The two sides have been battling in court for the past two years in what has been increasingly seen as a case of the Sheriff’s Office attempting to remove constables from office using underhanded tactics. | Earlier this year, the Sheriff’s Office arrested Constable Jeffrey Morris, also for impersonation. Those charges were quickly dropped and Morris is reportedly planning to file suit against the Sheriff. Morris had stopped a motorist who had an active felony warrant for parole violations. Morris’ attorney, Jeff Deen, seemed to suggest the state had little hope of proving the charges anyway. In court, Deen made a simple argument in a brief motion to dismiss: If constables are peace officers, how can Morris impersonate something he was elected to be? “He cannot be charged and convicted of impersonating himself,” he added. | The Alabama Constables Association (ACA) had publicly condemned the arrest and called on the Mobile County District Attorney’s Office to drop the charges of unlawful imprisonment and impersonating a peace officer. “It’s especially concerning and egregious that an offender with an outstanding arrest warrant was released at the scene while a sworn peace officer, who was following standard procedure, was himself arrested by the backup he requested from the sheriff’s office,” Wood wrote. “We believe it’s improper and unlawful for the sheriff to make the law regarding other peace officers. That should properly be left to the voters and their representatives in Montgomery,” the ACA President wrote. | That case has also drawn stark criticism of the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office, which has faced numerous lawsuits and federal investigations into its tactics. Most recently, the lead investigator on the Roberts case, Sergeant Robert Keith Miller, was under investigation by the Alabama Ethics Commission after it was discovered that he had falsified ethics reporting forms for years. Miller allegedly reported to the commission that his income was under $10,000 and that he had only one source of income. In reality, Miller’s salary was over $75,000 per year. Investigators say he may have misrepresented his income on tax forms and may have applied for other government benefits reserved for low-income individuals such as food stamps. If Miller is convicted on these charges, he could face up to 20 years in prison and be forced to pay restitution. | The Sheriff’s office has also allegedly tried to intimidate Roberts and his family while the case was pending. In December of 2017, one of Roberts’s employees who was driving Roberts’s vehicle at the time, was pulled over in a Costco parking lot, allegedly for making a wrong turn. The deputy, James Patrick Gazzier, wrote a citation, but it was dismissed by the courts after Gazzier refused to answer as to why he wrote it. | Several high-ranking officers at the Sheriff’s Office have been indicted for felony crimes in the past year. Lieutenant Paul Stephen Bailey was indicted for forcing two female victims under the age of 16 to perform sexual acts. He also allegedly touched them inappropriately. In all, Bailey is charged with 1st and 2nd-degree rape, 2nd-degree sodomy and two counts of sexual abuse. Former Sheriff’s deputy Seth Stevens was booked into the Mobile Metro Jail on charges of Possession of Controlled Substance, Possession of Marijuana, five counts of Tampering with Evidence, Theft of Property, Drug Paraphernalia, and Illegal Possession of Prescription Drugs. Sergeant Joe Mahoney was recently disciplined for drinking while driving and having an open container of liquor in the cupholder of his patrol car, which was spotted by a citizen who sent photos and videos of it to news stations. | Last year, Deputy Chris Parsons was indicted for first-degree possession of marijuana, illegal possession of prescription medication, and possession of controlled substance. Although he was indicted, he wasn’t arrested for over a month. Critics say that the Sheriff’s office, and Sheriff Sam Cochran, shielded Parsons from arrest despite active arrest warrants being issued by the courts. Parsons is the son of Lonnie Parsons, MCSO’s chief of support services and longtime friend of the Sheriff. | The Sheriff’s Office and Sergeant Miller, are alleged to have stolen thousands of dollars of cash and electronics from Roberts. Roberts and his family allege that officers took computers, clothing, and business equipment from Roberts’s house and didn’t log much of it into the court records. Officers are alleged to have taken this property and cash to their own houses and essentially stolen it. | The judge ordered the Sheriff to pay Roberts a fine of $100 per day for each day his property was illegally held. Since the seizure goes back to 2016, Roberts could see a payment of close to $100,000. | “I am glad that the court agreed with what we have been saying for years. The Mobile County Sheriff’s Office operates without any regard for law or court orders, and seems to think that it is above the law. The court sent a strong message today that it would not tolerate these willful acts of aggression by the Sheriff,” Doug Roberts commented. | The Sheriff’s Office isn’t the only one involved in the Roberts case to be embroiled in scandal. The prosecutor, Shelley Pope Corley, who publicly maligned Roberts, and all constables, in open court was dismissed by the Mobile County District Attorney’s office in July. Roberts and his business colleagues suspected that Corley’s husband, Terry Corley, who owns an Information Technology company that competes with Roberts’ firm played a role in his wife’s prosecution of Roberts. Corley failed to disclose the conflict of interest and continued to attempt to prosecute Roberts. Once the conflict was discovered, Corley was quickly dismissed from her position as an Assistant District Attorney and could face disbarment by the Alabama State Bar. | Constables all over the county celebrated the court’s decision as a victory against what they say is an oppressive Sheriff with a vendetta for constables.

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  • Name: Mobile County Sheriff’s Department
  • Country: United States
  • State: Alabama
  • City: Mobile
  • Address: 510 S Royal St
  • Phone: 1 251-574-2423
  • Website: www.mobileso.com/
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