MONTGOMERY — Members of the Alabama Ethics Commission unanimously found an ethics violation case involving Luther Winn, Greenetrack CEO, should be referred to a District Attorney on Wednesday.
The Alabama Ethics Commission found that based on the evidence as presented to the commission, there exists cause to hold that Winn as a board member of Greene County Industrial Development Authority, had violated the Alabama Ethics Act and moved that this case be handled administratively and referred for review and appropriate legal action by the District Attorney of the appropriate Judicial Circuit.
Age with Dignity's Billy McFarland told 1819 News on Wednesday he filed an ethics complaint back in the "early months of last year" due to "the Greene County Industrial Board of which Mr. Winn had been a member up to two weeks prior to the meeting voted to give Mr. Winn or his business entity a below market value lease purchase agreement on some prime interstate property in Greene County."
McFarland said the land was located in the Crossroads of America Industrial Site. The industrial park is located in Boligee on Interstate 20/59 at exit 32, according to the development authority's website.
"I just felt like it was a corrupt deal because he seemed to be profiting from his government position for personal gain. That's when I made the complaint. That was over a year ago," McFarland said.
According to its website, founded in 1984, the Greene County Industrial Development Authority has operated as the lead industrial development organization for the Greene County, Alabama community. GCIDA works in conjunction with state and local governments, regional development partners, local communities and business leaders to attract a diverse industrial environment that will benefit the citizens of Greene County, Alabama, as well as the corporate well-being of each company invested here.
McFarland said, "it was very distressing to me to learn that the Greene County Industrial Board from the information that I was given voted to do this unanimously because this land was held by the board which is a taxpayer-funded entity you know that should've been an open bid where everyone was given a chance to make a bid on it so that the taxpayers were the ones to benefit the most from whoever was the highest bidder instead of doing it the way that they did so that was kind of the reason I made the complaint."
"Even now over a year later our business wanted to make a bid on the property as did probably many other people and even now we still haven't been given a chance. I don't know the status of the property and title," McFarland said. "That property has never gone to an auction by which the members of the public can bid on the price that would benefit the taxpayer. I was kind of like the whistleblower in this thing and I really did not intend to end up like that but when I found out what had happened I felt like I had no choice."
To connect with the author of this story or to comment, email caleb.taylor@1819News.com.
Don't miss out! Subscribe to our newsletter and get our top stories every weekday morning.