MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama sheriff has resigned ahead of an impeachment proceeding that sought to remove him from office, Attorney General Steve Marshall’s office announced Wednesday.
Clarke County Sheriff William Ray Norris turned in his resignation to the governor on Monday, Marshall’s office announced in a news release. The resignation is effective beginning June 1. That is a day before Norris was to appear in a hearing at the Alabama Supreme Court to respond to an impeachment complaint, according to the attorney general’s office.
Marshall in April filed impeachment papers against Norris seeking to remove him from office.
The attorney general’s office accused Norris of multiple acts of malfeasance, including filing false financial disclosure forms and taking thousands of dollars from a company whose owner got payments from the sheriff’s office.
Marshall commended the staff of his Special Prosecutions Division and thanked other agencies for their assistance in this matter, including the Alabama Securities Commission, the Alabama Department of Revenue’s Investigations Division, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Mobile Field Division and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Alabama.
“It is more important than ever that the public be able to trust elected officials, especially when they occupy leadership positions within law enforcement,” Marshall said. “It was my judgment that Sheriff Norris could no longer be trusted as a public servant or as a law enforcement official, and his resignation should be a welcome relief to the public. Sheriff Norris’ decision to resign from office, however, does not foreclose the possibility that criminal charges will be filed against him.”