BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - William Lane was arrested after work Friday afternoon. According to DA Jeremy Duerr, he faces 40 felony indictments.
They include 11 counts of use of officials position for personal gain, one count first degree theft of property, and 28 indictments of fraudulent use of credit or debit cards related to the Sheriff’s Office Rodeo Association bank account. Sheriff David Cofield says he’s looking now to make changes.
“I’ve worked hard the last eight years to improve the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office. But in light of these indictments, I feel now that it is necessary to take a step back, review policy and protocol, make any necessary changes so that I can continue to move the office in a forward direction,” he says.
He says he’s also looking into the Sheriff’s Rodeo Association Fund, specifically the bookkeeping and protocol for how the money is handled. The rodeo is held each year to benefit the sheriff’s office.
“To buy uniforms for officers, to better equip them to get out here and do what they’re supposed to do. That is what it’s originally for. And to help people in the community with power bills, things like that,” says Herren.
Stephanie Herren created the Facebook page Randolph County Accountability Transparency and Public Information Group, meant to hold officials accountable. She was sent pictures by a member last spring concerning possible charges against Lane and reported them to the Alabama Ethics Commission, right about the time this investigation began.
“It’s a disappointment, you know, and it’s a black eye to the sheriff’s department, to the good officers. It’s really a black eye,” says Herren.
The investigation is ongoing. Each of the 40 felony indictments Lane faces is punishable by between one and 20 years in prison.