Charges against Hobson City clerk dropped, others possible
by Eddie Burkhalter
eburkhalter@annistonstar.com
Oct 21, 2013 | 4862 views |  0 comments | 48 48 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Shelia Jones
Shelia Jones
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A judge last week granted prosecutors’ request to dismiss misdemeanor charges against Hobson City’s town clerk, saying they intend to present evidence of felony charges to a grand jury next week.

Shelia Jones, 38, of Anniston turned herself in to Calhoun County sheriff’s deputies Aug. 7 after being charged with tampering with government records and obstructing government operations, both misdemeanors. Jones has been on unpaid leave since her arrest.

Hobson City Mayor Alberta McCrory said in August that Jones used her position as clerk to avoid paying garnishments of her own wages.

Court records show that Jones’ wages were ordered garnished to pay a $4,500 judgment in a 2008 lawsuit filed by a landlord for unpaid rent, plus $286 in court costs. The town government was issued notice of the garnishment order in January 2013, according to court records.

Calhoun County District Judge Chris McIntyre on Oct. 15 dismissed the two misdemeanor charges against Jones. Calhoun County Assistant District Attorney Foster Marshall filed the motion to dismiss the charges, and he now will ask the grand jury to consider more serious charges against Jones, according to court records.

“In light of new evidence, the state reserves the right to present this case as a felony to the Calhoun County grand jury,” Marshall wrote in his Oct. 14 motion.

After looking at any evidence presented, the grand jury could decide not to charge Jones with any crime.

“The case is being presented to a grand jury, and I cannot comment any further than that,” said Marshall, when reached by phone Monday.

The grand jury will meet throughout next week, Marshall said. He expects the jury to come to a decision on the case by Nov. 1.

Hobson City Mayor Alberta McCrory declined to comment on the matter Monday.

“I don’t want to do anything that might jeopardize the case in any way. It’s an ongoing investigation,” McCrory said by phone.

Raymond Johnson, Jones’ attorney, said his client was glad the state dismissed the case.

“And she hopes that the state does not present this to the grand jury, and the grand jury does not return an indictment,” Johnson said.

Johnson said he was not aware what new charges Jones might face.

If the grand jury does decide to present other charges, Johnson said, his client “is going to want a trial, and she’s going to want the truth to come out ... She wants her name cleared.”

Staff writer Eddie Burkhalter: 256-235-3563. On Twitter @Burkhalter_Star.

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