Former Columbiana police chief pleads guilty

A Shelby County judge has sentenced former Columbiana Police Chief Johnny Brown to a 12-month suspended sentence for a misdemeanor theft charge.

Chief Assistant District Attorney Bill Bostick said Brown will be on probation for 24 months during which time he will pay a fine, undergo drug and alcohol screenings and surrender his Alabama Police Officer Standards and Training Commission Certification.

&8220;The primary goal of our sentencing recommendation was that the judge order Brown to surrender his certification,&8221; Bostick said. &8220;These offenses occurred while he was police chief and was stealing from the people he was supposed to protect.&8221;

Columbiana Mayor Allan Lowe requested the county sheriff&8217;s office investigate possible thefts from local merchants.

Brown, who resigned at the onset of the investigation,

was later charged with two counts of third-degree theft of property. Bostick said the second misdemeanor was dropped as part of the plea deal.

&8220;It was difficult because he was well thought of in the community,&8221; Bostick said. &8220;This is a shame, but the law is the law.&8221;

As a result of the deal, Brown will not be eligible to serve as a police officer in the state of Alabama.