BREAKING: Mt. Vernon Mayor Arrested on Ethics Violations

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT/WKRG) — Terry Williams, the Mayor of Mount Vernon, was arrested and booked into the Jefferson County Jail Wednesday evening on corruption charges. The charges are related to a corruption violation investigation into Birmingham Water Works, connected to Williams’ personal business as owner of Global Solutions International, Inc. The charges are not related to his job as Mount Vernon Mayor.

The Birmingham Water Works Chairwoman and President Sherry Lewis was arrested on an embezzlement charge, according to jail records our sister station, CBS 42 located Wednesday afternoon.

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall Wednesday evening announced chairwoman Lewis and two others were arrested today on felony state ethics charges. Jerry Jones, a former VP at Arcadis, and Mount Vernon Mayor, Terry Williams, owner of the Global Solutions International, Inc., were also arrested on felony state ethics charges.

Lewis, Jones and Williams all surrendered Wednesday at the Jefferson County Jail. Attorney General Marshall says his special prosecutions division partnered with the FBI in an investigation into alleged corruption in the Birmingham Water Works and its independent engineer of record, Arcadis and their subcontractor, Global Solutions International.

The Jefferson County Special Grand Jury remains empaneled, and the investigation is ongoing, Marshall says.

Below, Marshall laid out the charges against the trio in a press release to media:

Sherry Lewis, Chair, Board of Directors of the Birmingham Water Works

  • Count 1 charges Sherry Lewis with violating the state ethics law by intentionally using her office to obtain personal gain for herself, her family member, and the businesses with which she is associated;
  • Count 2 charges Sherry Lewis with violating the state ethics law by voting on or participating in matters in which she or a family member had a financial interest of gain; and
  • Count 3 charges Sherry Lewis with violating the state ethics law by soliciting or receiving anything for the purpose of corruptly influencing official action.

Jerry Jones, former Vice President, Arcadis

  • Count 1 charges Jerry Jones with violating the state ethics law by aiding and abetting Sherry Lewis’s unlawful use of office to obtain personal gain for herself, her family member, and the businesses with which she is associated;
  • Count 2 charges Jerry Jones with violating the state ethics law by aiding or abetting Lewis’s voting on or participating in matters in which she or a family member had a financial interest of gain; and
  • Count 3 charges Jerry Jones with violating the state ethics law by offering or providing anything for the purpose of corruptly influencing official action.

Terry Williams, Owner, Global Solutions International

  • Count 1 charges Terry Williams with violating the state ethics law by aiding and abetting Sherry Lewis’s unlawful use of office to obtain personal gain for herself, her family member, and the businesses with which she is associated;
  • Count 2 charges Terry Williams with violating the state ethics law by aiding or abetting Lewis’s voting on or participating in matters in which she or a family member had a financial interest of gain; and
  • Count 3 charges Terry Williams with violating the state ethics law by offering or providing anything for the purpose of corruptly influencing official action.
Sherry Lewis. Source: BWWB.org

Lewis is still listed as president of the BWWB on their website at the time of publication. Her bio reads, “Sherry Lewis is a grassroots leader and volunteer with over 20 years experience working in the community. Director Lewis is an alumni of Miles College where she received a degree in Management. She currently serves on numerous Boards and is heavily involved in working with a variety of other community organizations. Director Lewis brings extensive customer service experience from her position with AT&T communications.”

The Birmingham Water Works Board has released a statement on Lewis’ arrest which can be read below.

The recent indictment of Chairwoman Sherry Lewis by the State Grand Jury is an unfortunate outcome of a lengthy investigation, General Manager of the Birmingham Water Works Board (BWWB) Mac Underwood said today.

“I am sorry to learn of the indictment,” Underwood said. “Incidentally, we must be mindful that being accused of unlawful conduct does not automatically make one guilty. However, we must let the legal process run its course.”

The Water Works has no further information at this time but will be reviewing the situation as more information becomes available. 

Birmingham Water Works will continue its mission to provide the highest quality water and services to our customers and our entire service area.

Sherry Lewis’s legal representation, The Bloomston Firm, has also sent out a release addressing Lewis’s arrest, which can be read below.

Sherry Lewis is innocent of the charges returned against her, at the prosecution’s request, by a Grand Jury that heard only one side of the evidence. 

Sherry has lived her entire life in Birmingham, Alabama. She has earned an excellent reputation for her honesty, integrity, and hard-work in her professional life, as well as within her community. Sherry has diligently served on the Birmingham Water Works Board, where she has been a voice of reason and a watchdog for the citizens that are served by the board. 

Sherry looks forward to her day in court and expects to be acquitted of all charges by a jury of her peers in a trial where she will have the right to confront the prosecution’s evidence.

CBS 42 is working to learn more; this story will be updated.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s