Birmingham councilor indicted on felony charges | News
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC)- Birmingham's District 1 council member is facing legal trouble. Lashunda Scales was indicted on Tuesday morning with two charges of ethics law violations and attempted interference of an election.
The ethics charges stem from a complaint made two years ago by one of Scales' former business partners. According to the complaint, Scales used city police and equipment for personal gain in settling a dispute.
In the second indictment, Scales allegedly tried to intimidate voters in a bond referendum in October of 2012.
"She disturbed a voter from freely voting on election day," Jefferson County DA Brandon Falls said.
Scales turned herself in to the Jefferson County Jail Tuesday morning and bonded out 25 minutes later. If Scales is convicted of the charges, she will have to vacate her council seat immediately.
Jefferson County DA Brandon Falls investigated the charges of wrongdoing.
"I don't want to make a personal comment on the evidence itself, the facts, but as for any implication it's political - no, this is a charge of use of public possession for personal gain," Falls said.
Scales is a professional promoter of various Birmingham events and a well-known, vocal critic of Birmingham mayor William Bell.
Many of Scales' colleagues were caught off guard by the charges. Scales did not attend Tuesday's city council meeting. Council President Roderick Royal informed the council of the allegations against Scales.
"I certainly will pray for Ms. Scales as she moves through the process and hopefully she will be found innocent of the charges and the like," Royal said.
Scales and her attorney are not commenting on the charges at this time. Councilor Johnathan Austin says he doesn't believe the charges will cast a cloud over the council or slow down their work.
"People are skeptical of politicians," he said. "If they can find something to speak negatively about us they certainly will."
It remains unclear how this news will affect Scales as she runs for re-election later this year.
Copyright 2013 WBRC. All rights reserved.