Sumter County commissioner convicted of bribery
4:50 pm, December 4th, 2012
A federal jury in Albany has convicted a Sumter County commissioner of corruption charges, according to Michael Moore, U.S. Attorney of the Middle District of Georgia.
Sumter County Commissioner Al J. Hurley, 54, of Americus was convicted on Friday of attempted extortion and bribery in connection with his acceptance of$20,000 in bribes, the U.S. attorney said. Hurley accepted the bribes in exchange for his official efforts to secure public contracts for a private contractor, Moore said.
Hurley has been a member of the Sumter County Commission since 1999.
According to evidence and testimony presented during the county commissioner’s trial, Hurley promised the contractor he would help him secure a $100,000 county renovation contract in Hurley’s district in return for a $5,000 cash payment in October 2011 and a second $15,000 cash payment in December 2011, federal prosecutors said.
In an effort to secure more illicit cash, Hurley also invented two contacts that he claimed had influence over the construction of a new racetrack in the commissioner’s district. Prosecutors said that Hurley claimed his contacts could influence the award of contracting work in connection with the project, prosecutors said. But Hurley, who testified, eventually admitted that those inside contacts did not exist, prosecutors said.
Hurly faces as much as 20 years in prison for attempted extortion and 10 years for bribery. He also faces as much as $250,000 in fines in connection with each of the charges.
Said Moore: “This type of criminal conduct strikes at the heart of our democratic process. Good citizens elect leaders like county commissioners to represent them on all levels of government – and they have the legitimate expectation that the people they choose will do so honorably and in accordance with the law. We will not tolerate public corruption in middle Georgia.”