Blakely Political Rally -2

Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely speaks to voters at a political rally held in August at the Limestone County Sheriff's Rodeo Arena.

Editor's note: Updated at 11:29 a.m. with comment from Limestone County Commission Chairman Collin Daly.

Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely has been arrested on unspecified charges related to a state ethics investigation. A press conference will be held today regarding the nature of the charges, an official said.

Limestone County Commission Chairman Collin Daly, who has been out of town at an Association of County Commissions of Alabama, found out about Blakely's arrest shortly after 11 a.m. He couldn't comment on Blakely's status and if he would remain sheriff while under indictment. The News Courier has reached out to County Attorney Mark Maclin regarding this issue.

"I don't really know the details yet," Daly said. "Our main issue is the safety of Limestone County and we'll let the rest work its way out. I'm not a judge."

According to the Alabama Code (36-9-1), "any Sheriff convicted of a felony vacates his office at the time of conviction." 

Blakely, who was first elected sheriff in 1982, won re-election to his 10th term in November. He said at that time this would be his final term as sheriff.

An ethics complaint against Blakely was filed last year, and the Alabama Ethics Commission referred the complain to the Alabama Attorney General's Office for investigation. Details about ethics complaints are not made public.

At the time, Blakely said he was not aware of the nature of the complaint, but Ethics Commission Executive Director Tom Albritton said Blakely and his attorney were advised of the charges and were given an opportunity to appear before the commission.

In January, Blakely and Chief Deputy Fred Sloss were sued by a female investigator who claimed she was assaulted by Sloss and was then promised a promotion if she consented to his advanced. The suit also claimed Blakely demoted the investigator after she reported the incident.

In February, the Limestone County Commission agreed to pay $49,968.52 over a U.S. Department of Labor wage and hour violation concerning the Sheriff's Office. According to a complaint, Sheriff's Office employees working at the annual Limestone Sheriff's Rodeo without pay, while the other infraction involves deputies coming in after their scheduled shifts — without compensation — to fill out arrest warrants.

The News Courier is following this story and will have more information as it becomes available.