Alabama Attorney General (AG) Steve Marshall announced on Thursday that a Jefferson County jury found former Birmingham Building Inspector Thomas Edward Stoves guilty of intentionally using his office or position for personal gain.
“Fighting public corruption is a matter of the highest importance because of the violence it can inflict on our system of government—eroding public trust and, in this case, endangering public safety,” said Marshall. “It is reprehensible and inexcusable that Thomas Stoves, a city official charged with the duty of ensuring buildings were free from danger, would choose to trade public safety for private gain.”
“Public corruption remains a top priority for the FBI, and I applaud the work done by both the Alabama Attorney General’s Office and my agents to bring Stoves to the justice he deserves,” said FBI Birmingham Special Agent in Charge Johnnie Sharp, Jr. “There is no acceptable level of corruption and anyone who engages in such can expect the same outcome.”
During the trial, witnesses testified that Stoves, age 53, received cash bribes to approve a building inspection for a local adult entertainment club. The head of the Birmingham Department of Planning, Engineering, and Permits testified that accepting cash for performing official duties is not acceptable behavior for building inspectors or other city officials.
Stoves was arrested in August 2020 following a joint investigation between the Alabama Attorney General’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Stokes’ trial began on Monday and ended Thursday with the jury finding him guilty. Stokes is now awaiting sentencing. The charges come with a possible sentence of between two and 20 years in prison. The sentencing hearing is set for July 25 at 9:00 a.m. before Judge Michael Streety of the 10th Judicial Circuit of Alabama.
Marshall thanked his Special Prosecutions Division, including Assistant Chief Deputy Attorney General Clark Morris and Assistant Attorneys General Nathan Mays, Kyle Beckman, and Alana Cammack. Marshall also thanked FBI Special Agent Michael Faulkner and all the agents and support staff of the Attorney General’s Special Prosecutions Division for their hard work and contributions to the successful prosecution of this case.
Marshall was appointed attorney general in 2017 by then Gov. Robert Bentley (R). Marshall was elected to his own term as AG in 2018.
Marshall defeated Harry Still III in Tuesday’s Republican primary to win the Republican nomination for re-election. He faces Democrat Wendell Major in the Nov. 8 general election.
To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email brandon.moseley@1819News.com.
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