« Texas: the indictment of DeLay puts RNC aide in an uncomfortable position | Main | Maryland: redistricting expert witness runs for Senate »

Alabama: former Mobile Co. commissioner acquitted

The Mobile Register reports: Former Mobile County Commissioner Freeman Jockisch shook his fists and exclaimed, "Praise the Lord!" when jurors acquitted him Wednesday of misusing campaign funds.

It was a bittersweet victory, however, because the ousted commissioner was taken back into custody after the trial to serve the remainder of a 33-month federal sentence at a federal work camp near Talladega.

Jockisch was convicted in 2004 of 19 charges of lying on tax returns and ethics forms. In that trial, jurors decided he had hidden income that he earned from his fire sprinkler company, which had worked on public schools in the county.

His state trial focused on whether he had illegally pocketed about $26,000 from his campaign account. State law limits how campaign funds can be spent and bars them from being converted to personal use.

During the 2-day trial, the state attorney general's office pointed out discrepancies between Jockisch's campaign finance reports and his banking records. The prosecution argued that those forms showed that Jockisch paid himself money that he wasn't owed. -- Jockisch is found not guilty by jury