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May 19, 2011
For More Information, contact:
Luther Strange
Joy Patterson (334) 242-7491
Alabama Attorney General
Suzanne Webb (334) 242-7351
Page 1 of 2


(MONTGOMERY)- – Attorney General Luther Strange announced the arrests
of all five members of the Bullock County Commission on felony charges of bid law
violations. The commission chairman is additionally charged with an ethics law
Commission Chairman Ronald Wynord Smith, 56, of Union Springs, was
arrested last night, as was Commissioner John Livingston Adams, 43, also of Union
Springs. The remaining commissioners, who were arrested today, are Dock McGowan,
82, of Banks; Alonza Ellis Jr., 45, of Union Springs; and James McArthur Perry, 64, of
Union Springs.
Attorney General Strange’s Office presented evidence to a Bullock County grand
jury, resulting in the indictments* on May 18. Specifically, the indictments charge each
commissioner with one count of intentionally, knowingly or recklessly spending an
amount greater than $15,000 for inmate food at the Bullock County Jail without entering
into free and open competitive sealed bids, in violation of Code of Alabama, Section 41-
16-50. Additionally, the chairman, Smith, is charged with failure, as the head of a
governmental agency, to report a possible ethics law violation.
The matter was referred to the Attorney General’s Office by the Alabama
Examiners of Public Accounts. An audit covering the time period of October 2008 to
September 2009 included a finding by the Examiners that “The Code of Alabama 1975,
Section 41-16-50, states that all expenditure of funds of whatever nature for labor,
services, work, or for the purchase of materials, equipment, supplies, or other personal
property involving $15,000.00 or more should be subject to the Alabama Competitive
Bid Law. The Commission paid at least $61,000.00 for supplies and $24,000.00 for food
for the Jail without letting bids as required by the Alabama Competitive Bid Law.” The
Examiners had previously issued reports of audits for the years October 2006 to
September 2007 and October 2007 to September 2008, the two years prior to the audit
under investigation, which also reported that the Commission had paid in excess of
$15,000 for food for the jail without letting bids as required by Section 41-16-50.
501 Washington Avenue * Montgomery, AL 36104 * (334) 242-7300
www.ago.state.al.us No further information about the investigation or about the defendants’ alleged
crimes other than that stated in the indictments may be released at this time.
If convicted, each of the commissioners faces a penalty of up to ten years
imprisonment and a fine of up to $15,000 for the bid law charges, which are class C
felonies. Smith additionally faces a penalty of up to 12 months imprisonment and a fine
of up to $6,000 for the ethics violation, which is a class A misdemeanor. Furthermore,
Section 36-9-2 of the Code of Alabama states that when an officeholder is convicted of a
felony, the office is vacated from the time of conviction.

*An indictment is merely an accusation. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.