The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

December 19, 2013

Judge refuses plea deal in Marshall County revenue case

The News Courier

A Marshall County judge is refusing to accept a plea deal from a former county revenue commissioner charged in an ethics case.

Judge Howard Hawk says he wants to know the big picture in the case against former Marshall County Revenue Commissioner Joey Masters.

Masters resigned last month and is charged with a misdemeanor count of misusing a few hundred dollars from an office fund.

But a state audit separately points out $17 million in assessment errors, and a civil lawsuit accuses Masters of costing the county as much as $20 million.

A defense lawyer and county official call those claims overblown.

Another hearing is set for Jan. 13.