Wetumpka couple faces state felony ethics chargesPublished 1:39pm Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Dr. Deann K. Stone, former director of the federal programs for the State Department of Education, and her husband, Dave Stone, were arrested on Wednesday on felony state ethics charges by using her office for personal gain.
Deann Stone, 50, and Dave Stone, 54, both of Wetumpka surrendered today at the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, according to a release from the attorney general’s office.
Both have been charged with five state ethics law violations.
“Today’s action alleges that Dr. Stone and her husband abused their positions of trust for personal gain, and that is unacceptable,” said Yessyka Santana, special agent in charge in the U.S. Department of Education Office of Inspector General Southeastern Regional Office. “OIG will continue to aggressively pursue those who misappropriate education funds for their own purposes. America’s students and taxpayers deserve nothing less.”
The charges stem from an investigation by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Inspector General of the allocation of $49 million in federal grant money under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 for failing state schools.
A special Montgomery County grand jury found cause to indict the Wetumpka couple with violating the state ethics law by intentionally using Dr. Stone’s position as director of federal programs to obtain personal gain for themselves or Information Transport Solutions, Inc., where Dave Stone worked, through the allocation of funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 for a School Improvement Grant for the Lowndes, Marengo and Coosa County School Systems.
The grand jury also charges the couple with violating the ethics law by using a state computer, a state email account, the labor of Dr. Stone and another state employee for their private or business benefit through the funding for the Coosa County grant.
In the fifth count, it charges the couple with violation of the ethics law by intentionally soliciting or receiving meals, transportation expenses in Boston from Cambium Learning Inc. for the purpose of influencing official action.
“We will continue to work with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to maximize our resources to more effectively combat crimes of public corruption,” said state Attorney General Luther Strange in a press release from his office.
If both are convicted of all five counts, the couple could face a maximum of 100 years in prison and a $150,000 fine.