Former Birmingham Board of Education president Edward Maddox pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor ethics violations in court today.
Maddox was arrested Tuesday on two charges related to using his position for personal financial gain. One warrant accused Maddox of voting to increase the salary for a group of employees, including his daughter, who works for the Birmingham Board of Education.
School board employees are not allowed to vote on financial matters involving family members. The other warrant accused Maddox of using his official position for personal financial gain or the financial gain of a family member.
The hearing lasted about 15 minutes as Judge Tommy Nail read the charges against Maddox.
Maddox told the judge he understood the charges and accepted a plea agreement. Maddox was sentenced to 12 months in jail. Instead, he will serve two years of unsupervised probation.
Judge Nail says that if Maddox violates that probation, he will then have to serve the original 12 month sentence.
Maddox admitted he voted for a pay raise for his daughter who is a Birmingham city schools employee. Also, as president of the Woodlawn Neighborhood Association, Maddox voted to have city money allocated to a charity that his daughter works for.
Richard Jaffe, Maddox's attorney, says Maddox did those things unintentionally. Jaffe says Maddox accepts full responsibly for his actions.
"This was a very difficult decision for my client, but going through a trial would be in no one's best interest. Mr. Maddox did not pocket money here and that's what's important here," Jaffe said.
Jefferson County D.A. Brandon Falls says the plea agreement was worked out before Maddox turned himself into authorities yesterday.
"This particular situation we felt that it was necessary to bring these two charges and reach that agreement to step down from the Birmingham Board of Education. That is what we felt satisfied in moving forward with this case," Falls said.
Maddox resigned from his position as president of the Birmingham school board yesterday.
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