Former Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely was given a three-year sentence after being convicted of two felonies in 2021. He's up for parole on March 7 after serving just one year in jail.

Blakely served as Limestone County Sheriff for 38 years but was automatically removed on Aug. 3, 2021, when a Limestone County jury found him guilty of first-degree theft and using his public office for personal gain.

Pamela Baschab, the judge specially appointed to Blakely’s case, sentenced him to three years in jail and two years of unsupervised probation in 2021. However, he remained out of jail on an appeal bond for two years, which the average individual rarely gets.

Blakely turned himself into the Franklin County Jail in February 2023. It is unclear why the former sheriff was never moved to the Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC), and according to the ADOC website, his custody status has remained "on-the-way." As of reporting, ADOC has not responded to a request for comment.

Blakely has yet to own up to his crimes and has explored every legal avenue possible to stay or get out of jail. He even tried to argue the judge who presided over the case did so illegally due to her not remaining an active member of the state bar. All his appeals so far have been unsuccessful.

Initially, Franklin County Sheriff Shannon Oliver said that Blakely could not enter the general population due to his law enforcement background, which is standard procedure in these cases.

However, in November 2023, Oliver said Blakely violated his work release after he was seen purchasing items from a Foodland next to where he was working. Oliver stated that Blakely had been out on work release for months. According to the store owner where Blakely was assigned to work, he had worked there since February, when he initially turned himself in.

Sheriff Oliver told 1819 News that Blakely, a convicted felon, had been on work release since his third week in jail. Oliver said he was put on lockdown for one week when asked if he had any repercussions for his work release violations in 2023.

Blakely can leave the jail during the day for work but must return by 6 p.m. The Sheriff's office refused to comment on its requirements for work release and whose custody Blakely is actually in.

1819 News reached out to the Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles, asking how Blakely has already become eligible for parole.

"In compliance with Alabama Code § 15-22-28, Michael Blakely has served the time necessary to be eligible for parole consideration," a spokesman responded, pointing out that the board may grant or deny his parole.

The treatment of Blakely, who has never admitted fault for his crimes, flies directly in the face of other political corruption cases Alabama has prosecuted. Former Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard, who also never admitted fault for violating ethics law, had a lesser sentence. However, he was transferred to ADOC and served his time in the Limestone County Prison. He was not permitted to work release and served the majority of his sentence.

The Alabama Attorney General's Office refused to comment on this subject.

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