Birmingham water board member found guilty on ethics charge

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A member of the Birmingham water board was found guilty Wednesday of using her position to get free trips, meals and jobs for her son.

A jury found Sherry Lewis guilty of using her position on the Birmingham Water Works Board for personal gain and or voting or participating on a matter in which she or her family had a financial interest or gain, news outlets reported. She was found not guilty on a separate charge of soliciting or receiving something to influence official action. At the time of her arrest, Lewis was chairwoman of the board.

Jones was arrested in 2017 along with former Arcadis Vice President Jerry Jones, and Mt. Vernon Mayor Terry L. Williams, who also owns Global Solutions International LLC.

Court records allege Jones and Williams bought Lewis expensive meals and paid for her vacations leading up to several profitable contracts for their companies.

“This verdict should send a strong message that public corruption in Alabama will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” said Attorney General Steve Marshall said in a statement. Marshall said Lewis broke the trust of the people “for the benefit of herself and her family.”

Lewis’ attorney Brett Bloomston says it is “preposterous” to believe Lewis exerted influence over anyone.
He said they plan on appealing.

Lewis’ sentencing is set for December. Trials for Jones and Williams are next year.

Under state law, Lewis no longer holds her position after the felony conviction.