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August 14, 2019

For More Information, contact:
Mike Lewis (334) 353-2199
Steve Marshall
Joy Patterson (334) 242-7491
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Alabama Attorney General

Attorney General Steve Marshall Announces Conviction of Former Bookkeeper
of Chambers County Probate Court for Violating Alabama’s Ethics Law

(MONTGOMERY) – Attorney General Steve Marshall announced the conviction of a
former bookkeeper for the Chambers County Probate Court for using her official
position to steal $299,861.68 from the Court.

Rene Welch, 57, of Valley, pleaded guilty on August 12, to violating Alabama’s ethics
law by using her official position as bookkeeper for the probate court for personal gain.
She was sentenced in Chambers County Circuit Court to 10 years in prison. Her
sentence was split, and she was ordered to serve 18 months in prison followed by five
years of probation. She was also ordered to pay full restitution.

Between July 2013 and December 2017, Welch was employed by former Judge Brandy
Easlick of the Chambers County Probate Court. During that time, Welch used her
position as bookkeeper to steal $299,861.68 from the Probate Court. Auditors with the
Alabama Department of Examiners of Public Accounts discovered Welch’s theft, and
she resigned from her position.

“When public employees are entrusted as guardians of the people’s money, they are
accordingly held to a high standard,” said Attorney General Marshall. “It is
unconscionable that Ms. Welch used her official position to steal nearly $300,000 in
public money from the Chambers County Probate Court. Her crime was discovered,
and she was rightfully prosecuted under Alabama’s ethics law.”

Attorney General Marshall thanked the Department of Examiners of Public Accounts
for its investigative assistance in this case. He commended Assistant Attorneys General
Jasper Roberts and Peggy Rossmanith as well as Special Agents of the Attorney
General’s Special Prosecutions Division for their outstanding work to achieve this

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