Former Lanett mayor set to be sentenced

Published 8:00 am Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Former Lanett Mayor Kyle McCoy is scheduled to be sentenced on Tuesday at 2 p.m. ET at Chambers County District Court at the Lafayette Courthouse.

McCoy pled guilty in September to using his official position or office to allow a dependent and/or family member to access and use a 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe owned by the City of Lanett without lawful purpose. He also pled guilty to using his official position or office to obtain extensions and/or waivers of City of Lanett utility charges totaling $43,302.32.

Upon his guilty plea, McCoy immediately was removed from office as Lanett’s mayor.

The plea agreement includes recommending that McCoy serve any time sentenced in a county jail, rather than the Alabama Department of Corrections. Additionally, it states that the state agrees not to recommend a sentence of actual incarceration longer than two years. McCoy has the right to withdraw his guilty plea if the court orders him to serve a custodial sentence in the Alabama Department of Corrections or if it orders a sentence of actual incarceration for over two years. If the court accepts the state’s recommendation, McCoy waives his right to appeal.

McCoy pled guilty on Sept. 24 and was convicted of two felony ethics violations. He was immediately removed from office and is barred from holding future public office, according to a press release from Attorney General Steve Marshall’s office.

Pursuant to a plea agreement, McCoy admitted that he used his position as mayor to provide a city-owned Chevrolet Tahoe to a family member for a period of seven months. McCoy’s family member was not employed with the City of Lanett and had no government purpose in possessing the vehicle. McCoy’s unlawful actions resulted in his personal gain, which included savings on the cost of a replacement vehicle and insurance as well as money for fuel and maintenance, according to the press release.

McCoy further admitted to using his position as mayor to avoid paying for city utility services (gas, electric, water, sewage and garbage) on seven different accounts. Beginning at various times between June 2017 and April 2018, McCoy ceased paying utility bills. By Aug. 2019, McCoy owed more than $41,000 to the City of Lanett. At that time, McCoy directed a city employee to put a hold on these accounts, which resulted in McCoy no longer incurring minimum fees and late charges as well as his accounts being removed from the city’s “cut-off” list. McCoy paid the $41,232.84 balance seven months later in March 2020, but he did not pay any late charges or minimum fees for the period of time his accounts were on a hold, according to the press release from Marshall’s office. Pursuant to the plea agreement, McCoy agreed to pay those unpaid fees and charges, which equal $2,069, as restitution to the City of Lanett.

McCoy will pay another $12,124 in restitution to the city for money spent on personal items and gifts not related to city government. In total, McCoy will pay the city $14,193.45 in restitution.

“McCoy’s actions are appalling violations of the citizens’ trust and brazen abuses of his authority as mayor,” said Attorney General Marshall in a press release when McCoy first pled guilty. “The people of Lanett deserve leadership with honor and integrity. It is important that McCoy now is removed from office, that he may not be in a position to betray the public trust in the future, and that he is being held to account and punished for his crimes.”