Alabama Judge Charged With Spending Public Money on Himself and Family Members

( — According to Alabama’s attorney general, Alabama authorities recently arrested a state judge after he allegedly misappropriated taxpayer money to finance his vacations and other purchases. Sixty-one-year-old Circuit Court Judge Gilbert Self faces 16 counts of using his position for personal gain and charges relating to lying to various accountants about his finances. Self also stands accused of perjury, with authorities claiming he intentionally misled jurors during his testimony regarding the scandal.

Self had presided over Alabama’s Eleventh Judicial Circuit and recently surrendered to the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office. Following his initial arrest, Self posted $75,000 in bonds, with authorities granting him a pre-trial release. Self’s arrest followed an indictment against the judge, which resulted from an investigation into the Lauderdale County judiciary and the funds for the local law library, which Self allegedly misappropriated for his personal use.

Self allegedly began acting illegally in April 2020 and misappropriated funds until February 2023. According to authorities, during the almost three-year period, Self used over $50,000 of public funds for various reasons. Self allegedly used the taxpayer funding to hire his son, purchase furniture for his home, and buy sunglasses and alcoholic drinks. Self also reportedly used the funds to reimburse himself and pay for multiple vacations to states like Montana and Michigan.

Along with the vacations to Montana and Michigan, Self reportedly used taxpayer money to finance a beach vacation and a cycling trip through multiple states. Self managed to reimburse himself using taxpayer money by falsely claiming he attended events in Nevada, Florida, Michigan, and Alabama. By filing the false reports, Self gained access to taxpayer funds, which he used for his own gain. According to Steve Marshall, Alabama’s Attorney General, Self lied about the scandal during his testimony before a grand jury.

Self faces a 20-year prison sentence if convicted for the various ethical offenses and a fine of up to $30,000. He also faces an additional ten years in prison and another fine totaling $15,000 for the perjury and false statement offenses. If sentenced to consecutive prison terms, Self could spend over 30 years in Alabama’s Department of Corrections.

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