Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Touched by the grand jury - Republican Rep. Brian Aldridge reportedly indicted for embezzlement

Rep. Brian Aldridge (R - Tupelo)
Fresh on the heels of what longtime Mississippi political observers called "one of the most unethical moves" in recent history by the Republican dominated state Ethics Commission, the Mississippi Republican Party has another scandal to deal with.  Rep. Brian Aldridge (R - Tupelo) reportedly turned himself in this morning after being notified he had been indicted for embezzlement by the Lee County grand jury.  From the Daily Journal:
The charges stem from a 2008 lawsuit filed against the Aldridges by Florence Aldridge, the widow of Louis’ brother. She came to Tupelo in 2005 after her husband’s death after Louis and Janice promised to care for her while she suffered deep depression complicated by bipolar disorder.  
From 2003 to mid-2008, she granted Louis durable power of attorney to look after her assets while she could not.  
But in 2008, she discovered all her nearly $700,000 assets and family treasures were gone. 

Today, 68-year-old Florence Aldridge is believed to be living in a nursing home. Until her health failed again, she lived in Tupelo and taught piano lessons

After lengthy legal proceedings in 2011, Chancellor Michael Malski termed Louis Aldridge’s behavior “monumental impropriety and malfeasance” and ordered him to repay Florence $552,000. He also ordered his former charity, Touched By An Angel Ministries Inc., to come up with $140,000 Louis directed to it while he held Florence’s power of attorney.

Brian Aldridge is chief executive officer of the charity, which operated a camp for disabled children and adults. His father once was its chief financial officer.
This was ugly back in 2011 when it first came to light, and I imagine will get uglier before it gets better.

Personal note - Politics aside, I do hope Rep. Aldridge isn't guilty of these charges, and I hate to see anyone go through this process, even if he votes wrong all the time.

No comments: