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McCoy pleads not guilty

On Monday, Lanett Mayor Kyle McCoy waived his arraignment and plead not guilty for all three felony charges of using his official position or office for personal gain.

McCoy was set to have his arraignment on Tuesday in Chambers County.

The charges stem from a complaint that was filed with the Alabama Ethics Commission on Feb. 14, 2020, which McCoy was arrested for on Feb. 16.

Former city employee David DeLee filed the complaint accusing the mayor of not paying utility bills at his place of residence or an antique store McCoy owns. He also alleged that McCoy’s significant other was driving McCoy’s city registered vehicle for personal use and that people unrelated to the city were taken on beach vacations to various locations with city money.

When the allegations were made public in September, McCoy said he was “surprised” and the allegations were “all wrong and completely false.”

DeLee filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in September, suing the city for alleged first amendment violations. According to the lawsuit, once the ethics commission ruled that McCoy had violated the Alabama Ethics Law, DeLee was relieved of his duties as a Lanett city employee. DeLee had been employed with the city of Lanett for 29 years and seven months, according to the lawsuit.

“Because of his longevity with the city and due to him having back trouble, we agreed to pay him his accumulated sick leave through the month of August. There is a 30-day grace period before a person who retires starts getting paid. He should start getting his retirement pay in October. He received his regular rate of pay through August,” McCoy said in September.

If convicted, McCoy faces a maximum penalty of two to 20 years and a $30,000 fine for each of the three counts, which are class B felonies.

Furthermore, Section 36-9-2 of the Code of Alabama states that when an officeholder is convicted of a felony, the office is vacated from the time of conviction.