A federal jury convicted sitting councilman, Sonny McDowell with two counts of bribery after a three day trial in Montgomery, Alabama. The trial wrapped up Thursday afternoon. The incident supposedly happened in 2007 when McDowell owned and was working for Southern Detention Technologies.
After a federal conviction accusing councilman, Sonny McDowell of two counts of bribery — he is off the Grovetown city council leaving only three members. George James Mayor of Grovetown says, “I was shocked when he first came to me he was being indicted for this. I just couldn't believe it. And yesterday when the verdict came down, I totally couldn't believe it.”
Courtney Elledge reporting, “Sonny McDowell was elected in 2009 as Grovetown's City Councilman. Shortly after, he was promoted to mayor pro-tem. His term was supposed to end at the of the 2013 year. ”
McDowell is accused of offering a kickback of more than 1-thousand dollars to a former Alabama Department of Public Safety member. This supposedly while working in Montgomery Alabama back in 2007. Grovetown Mayor George James says now they're trying to focus on the growth, and continue the projects McDowell started.
“He helped us put our redevelopment plan, he is very instrumental in that, he's just been a go getter in everything he tries to get involved in,” explains Grovetown Mayor. McDowell has less than a year left on his term, and his position as city council is up for election this November. Now, Mayor James says he will start searching for a replacement who will serve as both a councilman and a side- kick as mayor pro- tem.
“We got a good group, we're going to carry on, it's just we hate that we're going to be missing one of the vital members of our council who was instrumental in certain programs we had going with the city,” explains James.
Grovetown and it's administration will go on, McDowell could face up to 10 years in prison. City of Grovetown Mayor, George James says Sonny McDowell is expected to sign his letter of resignation either Tuesday or Wednesday of next week. Monday April 15 they will have a board meeting addressing this issue and the future of the empty council seat.