MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — Attempts by the former chair of the Birmingham Water Works Board to appeal her ethics violation convictions have been rejected by the courts, Attorney General Steve Marshall has confirmed.
On Friday, Marshall sent out a press release announcing that the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals had upheld the felony ethics convictions of Sherry Lewis, who was convicted in October 2019 for using her position on the board for personal gain.
“I am pleased that the Court today upheld the conviction of Sherry Lewis and that she will not evade justice for criminal acts she committed in a flagrant abuse of the public trust,” Marshall said in the statement. “I am proud of the excellent work performed by Assistant Attorney General James Houts, Assistant Deputy Attorney General Clark Morris, Assistant Attorney General Jasper Roberts and agents of our Special Prosecutions Division, who handled the case at trial and during the appeals process. I also want to thank the Federal Bureau of Investigation for its outstanding work in bringing this matter to a successful conclusion.”
Following her conviction, Lewis was sentenced to a split-sentence of 10 years in prison with a “reverse split” of two years in prison. In short, she would be on probation for eight years and then serve two years in prison. In addition, Lewis was ordered to pay a total of $30,000 in fines and complete 400 hours of community service for charities or agencies that feed the elderly and homeless.
Under a reverse-split sentence, the term of imprisonment is not imposed until the end of the sentence, and the period of imprisonment could possibly be suspended if the defendant satisfies all other terms and conditions of her sentence.