Former Barbour County Sheriff Leroy Upshaw pleaded guilty to a felony ethics charge on Tuesday. 

Upshaw appeared in Barbour County Circuit Court and pleaded guilty to allegations charging him with using his office or official position for personal gain, a class B felony.

Upshaw was the sheriff of Barbour County for 12 years, serving from January 2007 to January 2019. 

At the plea hearing, Upshaw admitted that he, or a Sheriff's Office employee acting at his direction, wrote Upshaw checks totaling $32,135 drawn from Sheriff's Office bank accounts. Although the $32,135 was meant to support law enforcement and care for prisoners, Upshaw deposited those checks into bank accounts owned by Upshaw or his family, according to Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall.

"Abusing the taxpayers' money will not be tolerated in our state, and I am pleased the defendant will be held accountable for betraying the public's trust," Marshall said in a statement.

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