Former Mosses Mayor Pleads Guilty to Using Office for Personal Gain
Attorney General Luther Strange says the former mayor of the Lowndes County town of Mosses, Water Hill, has pleaded guilty to a felony ethics violation. Strange says Hill had used his office for personal gain in the total amount of $25,370.37.
Hill resigned the day before he pleaded guilty to the felony ethics violation in Montgomery County Circuit Court.
According to Strange’s office, Hill was previously convicted of misdemeanor ethics charges in 2014, and remained in office. Due to these felony charges, he resigned last week rather than being removed automatically from office.
“Mr. Hill has committed flagrant abuses of the public trust and taxpayers’ money for too long,” said Attorney General Strange in a statement. “It is extremely important that this case has resulted in him no longer being in office.”
According to Strange’s statement, Hill was charged with unlawfully directing money, in the form of checks drawn on the town’s bank accounts, to himself. Specifically:
- Mayor Hill used Town of Mosses funds to make his child support payments that were processed by the Department of Human Resources in Montgomery County. He then created fraudulent records in an attempt to conceal his theft.
- Mayor Hill issued unauthorized payroll checks to Town of Mosses employees and deposited them into his personal bank account in Montgomery County.
- Mayor Hill issued himself six additional monthly stipend payments without authorization or approval. He then deposited the payments into his personal bank account.
- Mayor Hill issued himself reimbursement payments for property lost in a fire at his residence. The alleged lost property was not covered by insurance, and the payments for reimbursement were not authorized or approved. He then deposited the payments into his personal bank account.
- Mayor Hill issued himself multiple other checks on the Town of Mosses’ account without authorization or approval. He then deposited the checks into his personal bank account.
- Mayor Hill’s schemes resulted in the unlawful personal gain of $25,370.37.
According to Strange’s office, Hill faces a potential penalty of two to 20 years’ imprisonment for his ethics violation, which is a Class B felony. Hill’s sentencing has been set for February 15, 2017.