MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WRBL) – The Mayor of Lanett has been convicted on two ethics charges after officials say he used his office for personal gain.
According to the Office of Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall, on Sept. 22, 2021, Kyle McCoy, the now former Lanett mayor, pleaded guilty to two felony ethics violations of using his official position or office for personal gain.
Officials say the convictions require McCoy be immediately removed from office.
One of the convictions stems from a family member of McCoy, who was not a city employee, being allowed to use a city-owned Chevrolet Tahoe for seven month, according to officials.
Officials say the second conviction stems from McCoy using his position as mayor to avoid paying for utility services on seven accounts, including gas, electric, water, sewage, and garbage bills. Officials say the violations occurred various times between June 2017 and April 2018. The violations resulted in McCoy owing more than $41,000 to the City of Lanett.
The conviction also bars McCoy from holding public office in the future.
McCoy is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 26, 2021 at 1:00 p.m. He faces penalties of two to 20 years imprisonment and fines of up to $30,000.
READ THE FULL RELEASE FROM THE ALABAMA ATTORNEY GENERALS OFFICE ON MCCOY’S CONVICTION BELOW:
(MONTGOMERY)—Attorney General Steve Marshall announced the conviction today of former Lanett Mayor Jonathon Kyle McCoy for felony ethics violations. McCoy pleaded guilty this morning in Chambers County Circuit Court to two charges of using his official position or office for personal gain. As a result of his felony convictions, McCoy was immediately removed from office as mayor, and is barred from holding public office in the future.
Pursuant to a plea agreement, McCoy admitted that he used his position as mayor to provide a City-owned Chevrolet Tahoe to a family member for a period of seven months. McCoy’s family member was not employed with the City of Lanett and had no government purpose in possessing the vehicle. McCoy’s unlawful actions resulted in his personal gain, which included savings on the cost of a replacement vehicle and insurance as well as money for fuel and maintenance.
McCoy further admitted to using his position as mayor to avoid paying for City utility services (gas, electric, water, sewage and garbage) on seven different accounts. Beginning at various times between June 2017 and April 2018, McCoy ceased paying utility bills. By August 2019, McCoy owed more than $41,000 to the City of Lanett. At that time, McCoy directed a City employee to put a hold on these accounts, which resulted in McCoy no longer incurring minimum fees and late charges as well as his accounts being removed from the City’s “cut-off” list. McCoy paid the $41,232.84 balance seven months later in March 2020, but he did not pay any late charges or minimum fees for the period of time his accounts were on a hold. Pursuant to the plea agreement, McCoy agreed to pay those unpaid fees and charges, which equal $2,069, as restitution to the City of Lanett.
McCoy will pay another $12,124 in restitution to the City for money spent on personal items and gifts not related to city government. In total, McCoy will pay the City $14,193.45 in restitution.
“McCoy’s actions are appalling violations of the citizens’ trust and brazen abuses of his authority as mayor,” said Attorney General Marshall. “The people of Lanett deserve leadership with honor and integrity. It is important that McCoy now is removed from office, that he may not be in a position to betray the public trust in the future, and that he is being held to account and punished for his crimes.”
Chambers County Circuit Judge Steve Perryman set a sentencing hearing for October 26 at 1 p.m. McCoy faces penalties of two to 20 years imprisonment and fines of up to $30,000 for each of the two convictions, which are class B felonies.
Attorney General Steve Marshall thanked the staff of his Special Prosecutions Division, noting in particular Assistant Attorney General Kyle Beckman and the division’s investigators.