Sen. David Burkette arrives for the State of the State Address in the old house chamber in the state capitol building in Montgomery, Ala., on Tuesday evening February 4, 2020. (Photo: Mickey Welsh / Advertiser)
Former Sen. David Burkette will plead guilty to a misdemeanor campaign finance violation charge, according to a plea agreement filed in Montgomery County Circuit Court Monday morning.
Under the terms of the plea agreement, Burkette, 63, would pay a $3,000 fine and waive his right to appeal. The state in turn would not seek restitution and will not seek a particular sentence.
“The state has agreed to stay silent as to sentencing,” prosecutor Jasper Roberts said in a Monday morning call with Montgomery County Circuit Judge Tiffany McCord.
A hearing on Burkette’s case will take place on Sept. 21. A man who answered the phone at the office of Al Agricola, Burkette’s attorney, said Monday that Agricola had no comment.
The Montgomery Democrat, 63, resigned from the Senate on Sept. 1. Two days later, Burkette was charged with a misdemeanor campaign finance violation. The Alabama attorney general’s office alleged that Burkette deposited $3,625 in campaign funds raised for a 2015 race into a personal account. The plea agreement says Burkette raised the funds between April 2015 and January 2016.
The plea agreement says Burkette waived a statute of limitations argument on the charge “to avoid any possible prosecution for greater offenses based on the facts of his crime.”
The charge, a Class A misdemeanor, carried a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a $6,000 fine.
Burkette served on Montgomery City Council from 2007 to 2018. He won election to the Alabama Senate in 2018 to represent Senate District 26, which includes most of western Montgomery and the central part of the city. The district is considered a Democratic stronghold.
A special election to fill the vacancy will take place next year. Those interested in running have until Tuesday to qualify to run in the district.
Contact Montgomery Advertiser reporter Brian Lyman at 334-240-0185 or [email protected] Updated at 11:43 a.m. to correct that Jasper Roberts is an attorney with the Alabama attorney general’s office, not with Burkette. Updated at 2:51 p.m. with terms of the plea agreement.
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