Sheriff Disputes Charges Against Him

Sheriff Disputes Charges Against Him

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CHATOM, ALABAMA -

It's a 4-page indictment filed in court nearly a week ago, but for the first time since the papers were filed Washington County Sheriff Richard Stringer is talking about the allegations against him.

"An indictment is just an accusation made by some person," said Sheriff Stringer.

We don't know who brought the allegations forward, but Stringer claims his innocence and says he's ready for his day in court.

"On a grand jury indictment you don't have the opportunity to tell your side, so now I get to tell my side. I'm very confident that this matter will be resolved in a satisfactory manner," said Stringer.

Stringer is accused of helping an employee defraud the governement. The employee, Ernest Pete Gardner, was a jailer at the time. The indictment claims that in 2010 the sheriff placed Gardner's wife, Marilyn, on the payroll in order for the employee to adjust his income earnings so that he could retain social security benefits, he otherwise wouldn't be entitled to.

The indictment claims that Marilyn never performed any work for the county.

Sheriff Stringer insists he's not stepping down and he intends to fight this.

"I'm still the sheriff, I'll continue to be the sheriff, I'll strive to serve the people of this county as I have in the past, we'll work hard."

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