An elected official in West Alabama has been indicted. The attorney for Mark Gibson filed to waive the Choctaw County commissioner's arraignment this week in circuit court. He was indicted by a grand jury in late August. In response, he's pleading not guilty.
The case for the first term commissioner could go to trial within the next two months. An August grand jury in Choctaw County indicted the 54-year-old for one charge of theft of property second degree.
This resulted from efforts by a concerned citizens group within the county.
'We want some accountability from our commissioners.'
That was one of many similar comments that were made by members of the concerned citizens group when they first talked to Newscenter 11after Commissioner Gibson was initially arrested in April.
Information from a citizen's commentary in The Choctaw Sun-Advocate newspaper led investigators to a piece of county equipment that was at a scrap yard in the town of Silas.
According to Sheriff Tom Abate, deputies were told by several individuals who were interviewed that Commissioner Gibson ordered them to take a county bush hog to the scrap yard and sell it for scrap. They allegedly did that and gave the money to Gibson. However, investigators say there's no record of the county receiving any money for it.
Purchased around 2002 for about $14,000, the piece of equipment is currently worth more than $500; this has led to the felony charge against the commissioner. If found guilty he could ultimately face anywhere from one to ten years behind bars.
Since his arrest last week Commissioner Gibson has been released from jail on $4,000 bond. His case could go to trial during the county's next court term on November 16th.