The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

December 5, 2012

Ethics hearings to begin for high school coaches

— DECATUR, Ala. (AP) — Investigators with Alabama's ethics commission on Wednesday are expected to question 27 Decatur High School coaches or their representatives about monetary gifts given by the school's athletic booster club.

The interviews will be conducted in private hearings. They are part of a probe that began in the summer of 2011, when the school system learned the booster club had given money totaling $6,875 to 27 employees.

A 2010 state law prohibits state employees from receiving gifts of more than $25.

State ethics commission Executive Director Jim Sumner Jr. has said penalties for violating the law range from two to 20 years in jail with up to a $20,000 fine if employees are found guilty of felony charges.

Unintentional violations could result in lesser penalties.

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