Phillips gets day passes; working as bus driver

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 9, 2010

Locals thinking they’ve gotten a glimpse of former Probate Judge Sherrie Phillips around town don’t necessarily need to get their eyes checked.

Phillips, who was sentenced November 2008 to three years in prison for stealing $1.8 million from a probate estate, has been granted a total of 10 “passes” since April and has been seen at various locations throughout Covington County.

Bryan Corbett, public relations officer with the Alabama Department of Corrections, said Thursday Phillips is now serving her time in the state’s Montgomery work release facility. She is currently employed as an inmate van driver, “driving other inmates to and from their work release assignments,” Corbett said.

Phillips earned three, 4-hour passes in April; in May, four 8-hour passes; in June, two 36-hour passes; and in July, on 36-hour pass, Corbett said.

She earned her “prison passes,” or time-specific periods of release, once she passed her 90-day mark as a community custody, or work release-eligible, inmate. A “sponsor” is required on all passes, and in Phillips’ case, was listed as daughter Monica Bryant and husband Buddy Phillips.

“Plus, she’s eligible (for passes) due to her non-violent crimes and relatively short sentence date,” Corbett said.

Phillips was indicted in June 2008 and was found guilty in October of that year of first-degree theft of property, theft by deception and for using her position for personal gain one year later. She was sentenced to a 10-year split sentence — three years in prison, three years of supervised probation and four additional years of unsupervised probation.

Phillips remained free on appeal for almost a year after her sentencing. She is scheduled for release on Oct. 23, 2012.