In a 12-minute hearing Monday afternoon, Morgan County District 3 Commissioner Don Stisher of Falkville agreed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of receiving gifts and was fined $2,000 plus court costs and given a year’s unsupervised probation once the fines have been paid.

State prosecutors initially charged Stisher with a felony of receiving campaign contributions and not reporting it. A Morgan County grand jury indicted Stisher in October on the charge presented by Assistant Attorney General Kyle Beckman.

The Morgan County Sheriff's Office executed the warrant for Stisher's arrest. He turned himself in about 10 a.m. today, was booked and released on his own recognizance, sheriff's spokesman Mike Swafford said.

In Morgan County Circuit Judge Jennifer Howell’s courtroom today, Stisher acknowledged accepting $2,000 in unreported campaign contributions and placing the money in his personal account rather than his 2016 campaign account.

“It wasn’t intentional on my part,” said Stisher, 63. “It was an oversight on my campaign that I’m responsible for. I’ve been upfront with authorities when the mistake was discovered and I haven’t tried to hide anything. I apologize to the people (of this county) and thank them for their past support and hope they’ll continue to support me.”

Stisher was accused of accepting campaign contributions of $1,000 each from the Decatur/Morgan County Chamber of Commerce and Mobile-based Volkert Engineering firm in late 2015 and not reporting it.

The Secretary of State’s Office in Montgomery found the discrepancy in 2018 and forwarded the information to the Alabama Ethics Commission. The ethics panel investigated and turned the case over to the Attorney General’s Office.

Stisher’s attorney Jacob Roberts said the word "intentional" was pivotal in the plea deal.

“Intentional is the key word and the difference between a felony and misdemeanor. My client’s actions were unintentional,” Roberts said.

A Morgan County grand jury indicted Stisher, saying he “did intentionally convert to personal use contributions to an office holder, a candidate or a public official’s inaugural or transitional fund.”

Ray Long, County Commission chairman, said Stisher’s case “is a personal matter and has no effect on the County Commission and its business.”

mike.wetzel@decaturdaily.com or 256-340-2442. Twitter @DD_Wetzel.

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(5) comments

Pamela Blakely

How is it even possible to NOT deposit contributions to your campaign account instead of your personal account. He is living proof that’s it’s easier to get forgiveness than permission.

Charlie Specoli

You can debate all you want as to whether this was an error in judgement. but since this became public and Stisher was notified of the unlawful act, he has done nothing but honest, and worked with and not against the investigation. He paid the money back, he plead guilty, he blamed no one but his self. Not many politicians do that these days, but he did. Most have a far fetched story, blames others and pleads not guilty, especially in an election year. Give the man some credit, he admitted he did wrong. He was big enough to admit it and it's an election year!

jack winton

MAGATs pleading guilty again.

jack winton

Another MAGAt pleads guilty.Only the best people......And those conservative christian values....

Tom McCutcheon

Don’t loose any sleep over this Jack. You’ve got a good Decatur lady leading the way for your party to fix things. Her name is Nancy Worley. Have you heard of her? The Sheriff of Limestone County is there to help also.

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