Nix quits post
Morgan official forced to resign, must repay some mileage money
By Sheryl Marsh
firstname.lastname@example.org · 340-2437
Morgan County Community Corrections Director Alison Nix is no longer employed by the county, and she must repay money she claimed for mileage on various trips.
She was in charge of the program that gives judges an alternative to sentencing defendants to jail. Although Nix wanted to work for two more weeks at her job, the Community Corrections and Court Services Commission on Monday voted for her to leave immediately.
While her bosses were discussing her in executive session, Nix’s criminal defense attorney John Mays gave her written resignation to County Attorney Bill Shinn.
Chairman John Glasscock said Shinn entered the closed session to give the board Nix’s resignation.
The corrections commission met for about 45 minutes before reconvening the public meeting.
District Attorney Bob Burrell moved to accept Nix’s resignation immediately.
Then, Sheriff Greg Bartlett moved for Nix to repay $504 that she took for four trips for which she received mileage. Bartlett made a separate motion for the money to come from Nix's final paycheck. All motions passed unanimously.
The trips for which Nix claimed mileage include one to Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women in Wetumpka, a directors' meeting in Shelby County, a trip to Montgomery for a meeting for which she couldn't give a reason and one to Double Springs.
Initially, Nix stated on a travel form that she visited an inmate at the prison. A spokesman for the prison system said there is no record of any visit.
Nix gave affidavits to the board to support her travel as requested by Circuit Judge Steve Haddock, vice chairman.
Basically, she gave sworn statements duplicating a list of explanations she gave the board last week.
Despite the fact that the director of The Bridge in Double Springs sent a letter to The Daily and members of the board stating she had not been there, Nix claimed she had visited. In her sworn statement she wrote, "I spent approximately 39 minutes at the facility. Mr. Stevenson (sic) was not there. Mr. Bain (sic), (Tommy Bayne) was in services. I was shown around by a security guard who went by Radar. The facility was on Palmera Road at a dead end."
What security guard?
Its director, Trent Stephenson, said the security guard could not have shown Nix around June 25 because the guard had not worked there since Feb. 3.
"She must have talked to somebody who has been here, and they gave a description of the place," said Stephenson. "None of my staff knows this lady, and after we saw her picture in the paper, we sure don't know her. We have no reason to lie. We were shocked to see our name in a scandal like that in the paper. We're just trying to help people."
Nix received $40.54 for mileage there.
That amount brought Nix's disputed travel total to $633.32, with officials in other counties and the state saying she did not attend meetings.
The corrections board did not charge Nix for two of the trips for which The Daily found discrepancies but included the Montgomery trip for which Nix could not give a reason.
One of the trips the board did not include was to Montgomery where Nix said she attended an Alabama Association of Community Corrections meeting at the Vera Institute of Justice.
The other trip was to Madison County Alternative Sentencing and Release, where Nix claimed she and two employees viewed a drug-testing machine. Its director, Jackie Wolfe, said Nix did not come there April 4 or March 8. Wolfe made that verification after learning that those dates were in question, not whether Nix had ever been there. Despite that fact, Nix still included an e-mail that Wolfe forwarded to The Daily and to her on Aug. 27.
In her resignation Nix stated she was leaving her job due to negative publicity, which she said was unfair and unjust. Nix requested to work until Sept. 24 to finish reports for the state Department of Corrections.
The board did not grant her request.
The board agreed to ask David Sloan, a corrections case manager, to be acting director until the board hires another director.
Nix left the meeting with Mays, who represents her in a criminal investigation targeting her in Lawrence County. Sheriff Gene Mitchell said Thursday that Nix remains under investigation involving forgery and misappropriation of funds that belonged to Hatton Youth Sports Inc. She served as secretary/treasurer of the organization until late June when authorities started the probe.
Mays said she passed a lie detector test and that she is innocent.
Burrell said he doesn't anticipate a criminal investigation here.
"Based on what I know at this time, there's no criminal investigation contemplated," said Burrell.
Nix turned in keys to the corrections office and a cellular phone to the County Commission office Monday afternoon, according to Administrator Syble Atkins.
The Daily first found discrepancies in travel requests Nix made for her 2008 budget. For one trip to Perdido Beach Resort for training, Nix requested $7,500. She detailed the request asking for $1,500 for lodging, $4,000 for car travel and $2,000 for registration fees.
She also requested $5,000 for a beach trip for herself and two employees.
When The Daily questioned her about the trips, she said she made a mistake when filling out forms.
The $7,500 request dwindled to a little more than $800 when Nix made the changes later the same day.
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