Bradleys plead not guilty

Published 7:43 pm Monday, February 26, 2007

By By Lisa Tindell
Margaret Breland-Bradley and Charles Bradley pleaded not guilty last week to charges they stole building materials from Alabama State University and illegally used inmate labor.
Neither Breland-Bradley, the former director of ASU's Brewton campus, nor her husband appeared in court for arraignment Thursday.
Breland-Bradley's attorney said he expects his client to be vindicated.
"Dr. Bradley has overcome many obstacles in her lifetime," attorney Bill Stokes said. "I am confident she will overcome this one."
Stokes said his client is looking forward to an opportunity to prove the charges against her are not true.
"The charges against her are untrue," Stokes said. "She welcomes the chance to prove them wrong."
Stokes described his client as "extremely upset and shocked" by the charges.
"She is a strong lady and she will overcome this," he said.
Ed Hines, attorney for Charles Bradley, could not be reached for comment Friday.
The charges against the Bradleys came as a result of an investigation by the Alabama Department of Corrections, said Brian Corbett, public information manager for the department.
"We began a very intense seven-month investigation into the Bradleys' actions," Corbett said. "That investigation came as the result of an inmate complaint. We began the investigation and gathered evidence that we turned over to the Alabama Ethics Commission."
The investigations and intelligence division of the Alabama Department of Corrections conducted the investigation.
Bill Evans, with the Alabama Ethics Commission, said the case had come to their office by way of complaint.
District Attorney Steve Billy, along with Investigator Charles Aldridge with the AEC, presented evidence uncovered by the commission to the Grand Jury, Evans said.
Waiving a public arraignment, the couple may be facing an appearance in court when the June docket is released, officials said. Pending any continuances by attorneys for the defendants or the courts, the next session of criminal court set for June would be the appointed time for the cases.
Margaret Breland-Bradley faces six counts of ethics violations that stem from claims she intentionally use public property for personal gain.
In the indictments handed down by the 21st Judicial Circuit court, Breland-Bradley was charged with using brick and other materials paid for with public funds to build a gazebo at her home and in the construction of The Barber Shop Mall in East Brewton.
Charles Bradley was indicted on three counts of theft. Those charges included one count of theft of property, first degree, theft of services, second degree and theft of property, second degree. Bradley is accused of using bricks owned by ASU for personal gain as well as using services by Alabama Department of Corrections work release inmates for personal benefit. The theft of property, second degree charge claims cabinets, countertops and other materials belonging to ASU were taken with the intent to deprive the owner of the property. Breland-Bradley faces a sentence of 2 to 20 years on each of the six counts of ethics violation against her, if convicted. Bradley faces 2 to 20 years on the theft of property, first degree charge and one to 10 years on the two additional counts of theft, if convicted.

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