MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — The former Prichard Water Board manager Nia Bradley and her husband Anthony were in court Thursday for the questionable spending at Prichard Water Board.
Nia Bradley’s alleged misuse of Water Board money… wasn’t even the initial focus of the DA’s investigation… The *initial investigation centered on the theft of a food truck. Water board chairman Russell Heidelburg complained in November about the food trailer theft. Heidelburg accused board members of John Johnson and Cherry Doyle of interfering with security footage of the theft. And shortly after those two accused Heidelburg of the same theft.
With this aside, Mobile County DA’s Chief Investigator Mike Morgan testified in court Thursday that during this investigation, he discovered employees were buying supplies and other items with utility credit cards. Clay Rossi, assistant District Attorney saying “There are many cards used by the Prichard Water Board, including a quote-unquote ghost card.”
This led to Morgan questioning the Board’s financial clerk who said Bradley wouldn’t allow her to share purchasing information with the board. This happened simultaneously as an outside source was hired independently to investigate the purchases producing a report that came out showing those purchases for Louis Vuitton bags, luxury goods and other questionable spendings.
Next, came the raids at Prichard Water Board and the Bradley home. Morgan testified the raid at the Bradley home as the pair “hoarding high ends goods”.
He said many of the items in question purchased weren’t accounted for at the home or the water board. These include building and renovation materials. The DA’s office says those materials were seen at some of the 14 properties associated with Bradley “There was windows and siding purchased and very similar materials have shown up on properties associated with Mrs. Bradley.” Rossi said.
After the proceedings, Nia’s attorney Jason Darley denied the allegations that any of these purchases were legitimate and that she never concealed the credit card purchases from the board. “She didn’t conceal this, if it is out in the open now it was out in the open then,” Darley said.
He also said others had access to the cards. So, it’s possible her spending did not exceed 200 thousand – negating the theft by deception charge. “If it falls below that amount then what you’re dealing with is a tradition theft charge which is similarly situated, it’s a class B felony and we know some of these expenses were legitimate.”
When it comes to Anthony, his attorney Gordon Armstrong argued the complaint was not accurate to the charge. Stating there isn’t proof he had knowledge of these excessive purchases since the complaint only talks about the “household items” which wouldn’t include the luxury goods. “If you’re talking about 11,800 worth of goods I mean that’s available in anyone’s home. What they’re trying to do, is they’re trying to have both.”
Armstrong also pressed Morgan about some of the items seized in the home raid which he says included a gifted china set, Anthony’s high school diploma and even a piece of medical equipment for his heart condition.
The DA’s office feels this is far from the final stages of this issue saying “Anything is possible in this investigation. I think its possible for the scope and the depth of this investigation to increase over time.”
The pair’s Bond was amended as well, they’re still on house arrest, but don’t have to wear ankle monitors–but rather be monitored by a cell phone facial recognition system.