Former Florala Utilities manager pleads; gets suspended sentence, probation

Published 2:37 pm Thursday, March 17, 2016

The Florala Utilities Board manager who was accused of stealing more than $40,000 and using her position for personal gain pleaded guilty Thursday.

Lynn D. Hughes, 56, of Florala, pleaded guilty to use of official position for personal gain and was sentenced to five years in prison.

According to a release from the district attorney’s office, Hughes’ plea agreement allowed for a suspended sentence and five years of probation.


She must pay court costs as well as $20,544 to the Florala Utiltiies Board.

Hughes was indicted by the February 2013 grand jury for theft of property I and use of official position for person gain after it was discovered that she had embezzled board funds for her own personal gain.

Hughes, who served as board clerk at the time, manipulated the ledgers of the board so that she did not have to pay nay Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance premiums.

“Unbeknownst to the board, they were paying the employer and the employee portion of Hughes’ premiums,” District Attorney Walt Merrell said. “Over a number of years, those monthly premiums added up to a lot of money. Lynn Hughes held a position of trust with the Florala Utilities Board, and she took advantage of that trust. Theft is theft, no matter what manner in which it is committed, and we will not tolerate it in Covington County.”

Use of official position for personal gain is a Class C felony punishable by one to 10 years in prison.