By Gary Lloyd
The state’s ethics panel on Wednesday voted to refer ethics accusations against former Hewitt-Trussville High School assistant principal Kecia Ashley to the Jefferson County District Attorney.
Alabama Ethics Commission Director James Sumner said Ashley was accused in a complaint to the commission of soliciting teachers and other subordinates at Hewitt-Trussville High School to buy Zija health care and weight loss products that she sold, and of trying to recruit them as salespeople in the multi-level marketing company.
“No one who works for a city or a county or state can use their employment to benefit themselves personally, and that’s what the commission viewed was going on here,” Sumner said.
Ashley was not present for Wednesday’s hearing, but her attorney was, Sumner said.
State ethics law forbids public employees from using their position for personal gain, Sumner said.
The commission found “probable cause” to believe that the ethics law had been violated, Sumner said.
Sumner said when a matter is referred to a district attorney’s office, the matter is typically taken to a grand jury that decides whether or not to indict the person.
Ashley’s attorney did not immediately return a message seeking comment Friday afternoon. Ashley’s attorney told AL.com Wednesday that Ashley sold the products in her spare time. The attorney, James Anderson, told AL.com that he thought the complaint was retaliation for a complaint Ashley filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
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