District attorney’s office will review ethics case

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 12, 2003

The Alabama Ethics Commission believes that Gloria Tate, mayor of Harpersville, and Larry Offord, former Harpersville Police Chief, have violated the state’s ethics law.

That’s the word, according to Hugh Evans, general counsel for the Alabama Ethics Commission.

Following what has been reported as a yearlong investigation, the commission voted last Wednesday that the cases involving the two individuals be referred for review and appropriate legal action to the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office.

Claims against Tate were reported to include fixing speeding and driving under the influence tickets, using city water services without paying and using inmates to work on her residence and vehicle.

When contacted for comment, Tate declined.

Claims against former police chief Offord were reported to include using inmates to cut grass at his home, delaying the prosecution of a driving under the influence case against a town councilman’s son, and accepting money from a clean-up crew.

According to media reports, Offord retired two years ago and moved to Panama City, Fla.

Shelby County District Attorney Robby Owens said his office had just received a package from the Alabama Ethics Commission on Monday morning but has not dealt with the Ethics Commission directly in any way.

He said his office will review the file and determine who (the Ethics Commission) list as witnesses.

&uot;Then our investigators will follow that with an investigation, and when all of that is completed, the information will be presented to a grand jury,&uot; he said.

Owens said however, he could not give a timeframe at this point.

The commission also voted to have cases against Councilmember Wayne Moore and Harpersville Water Board Employee Gary Gable be handled administratively.

The Reporter was unable to make contact with Gable or Moore by press time.

According to media reports, Moore requested a driving under the influence case against his son be dropped, and Gable reportedly used city equipment and vehicles for personal purposes