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Former sheriff convicted on 6 felony ethics violations

Former Coosa County Sheriff Ricky Lovell Owens has been convicted for multiple charges of felony ethics violations.

The announcement was made by Alabama Attorney General Troy King.

Owens pleaded guilty on Monday.

Sentencing is set for Sept. 27.

Owens admitted to using his public position as sheriff for illegal personal gain.

He admitted that he transferred funds from the sheriff's office work release fund into his personal "nutrition" fund where Owens keeps funds for feeding prisoners in the jail. Under state law, sheriffs have been allowed to keep for themselves leftover money from that fund but not from other sheriff's office funds such as the work release fund.

Owens further admitted he received $30,250 from donations totaling $41,350 that were made from official law enforcement funds through the Alabama Sheriff's Association to two charities: "Sistah to Sistah" and "Family Advocacy Community and Educational Services."

Owens was sheriff from January 2004 through January 2007. He was defeated for re-election in November 2006.

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