Home Birmingham Press Releases 2009 State Representative Sue Schmitz Found Guilty
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State Representative Sue Schmitz Found Guilty

U.S. Attorney’s Office February 24, 2009
  • Northern District of Alabama (205) 244-2001

DECATUR, AL—SUZANNE L. SCHMITZ, 63, of Toney, Alabama, was found guilty today on 7 out of 8 counts of federal fraud charges. The verdict is announced today by U.S. Attorney Alice H. Martin; Acting Alabama Attorney General Richard J. Minor; Special Agent in Charge Carmen S. Adams, Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Inspector in Charge Martin Phanco, U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

In January, 2008, SCHMITZ was indicted on mail fraud and federal program fraud charges involving The Community Intensive Training for Youth (“CITY”) Program in Huntsville.

The CITY Program operated in 10 locations throughout Alabama and sought to develop social, behavioral, and academic skills possessed by “at-risk” youth. Students were referred to CITY Program through the juvenile court system. Evidence presented at trial revealed that SCHMITZ held the title of “Program Coordinator for Community and External Affair,” at the CITY Program from January 2003 to October 2006, and received approximately $177,251.82 in salary/benefits despite performing little to no work. During the time she was paid by the CITY Program, through its fiscal agent, Central Alabama Community College, Schmitz rarely went to her Huntsville office, performed virtually no services, generated virtually no work product and submitted false statements to CITY Program regarding the volume and nature of work that she was performing, all in an effort to continue to collect her salary and benefits.

"It is an important victory and speaks to the need for public servants to serve the public not their own interest," stated United States Attorney, Alice H. Martin. "My congratulations to the trial team and investigators who worked tirelessly to obtain justice."

“I am very pleased with the jury’s verdict today. Ms. Schmitz violated a trust to which her constituents and all Alabama citizens should be entitled. All citizens have a right to expect their elected officials to serve honestly and ethically. Public officials are elected to serve the public, not exploit their position for personal gain,” stated Richard Minor, Acting Alabama Attorney General.

“I am pleased with the decision handed down by the jury this afternoon. Let today's verdict send a message to any politician who would consider violating the public's trust. You will be investigated, prosecuted and pay for your crimes,” stated Carmen S. Adams, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Birmingham Field Division.

“The guilty verdict against Representative Schmitz illustrates that the public will not tolerate anyone using the Postal Service to further a fraud scheme, regardless of their position in the community," stated Martin Phanco, Inspector in Charge, United States Postal Inspection Service, Atlanta Division.

The investigation of this matter was conducted by law enforcement officers from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and United States Postal Inspection Service. Assistant United States Attorneys William C. Athanas and David Estes prosecuted the matter on behalf of the U.S. Government.

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