A convicted Alabama sheriff who previously held office for more than three decades has addressed the press for the first time since his verdict, which saw him convicted of two counts in a 13-count indictment.
Former Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely, who was booked into his own jail back in 2019 after an indictment focused on theft and state ethics violations, said during a press conference on Tuesday that he’s not “ashamed” of his actions.
“There’s nothing that I did that I’m ashamed of or felt like I did wrong,” Blakely said, per regional Huntsville outlet WHNT. Blakely said that the majority of people who know him are “very supportive” and haven’t bought into what he described as “the hype and the insinuations and the innuendos.”
Moving forward, he’s working toward an appeal of his August 2021 conviction. Per reports at the time, Blakely had been charged with misusing campaign accounts and sheriff’s office funds.
For a little more than two weeks following the verdict, Blakely was incarcerated in the same jail he once ran. Addressing that experience during the presser, he spoke of “cabbage, beans, and cornbread” and—albeit predictably—praised the conditions of the facility while also responding to those who argued that he received special treatment.
“The best jail in the state of Alabama and that’s another thing I’m proud of,” Blakely said. “The food was real good. The staff took very good care of me. … You know, I was incarcerated. Whether they kept me in my office up front or whether they had me in the hole in the back. When you’re incarcerated, let me tell you, you don’t have the freedom to go. They had officers that would go out with me when I exercised.”
Complex has reached out to the Limestone County Sheriff’s Office. As of last month, the new sheriff is Joshua McLaughlin, who took over for Blakely after the latter was widely referred to as the longest-serving sheriff in the state’s history.
Meanwhile, Alabama recently made headlines with word from State Health Officer Scott Harris that the population “literally shrunk” during the first year of the pandemic.
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