Faulk facing allegation of ethics violations
The Alabama Attorney General's office is investigating possible ethics violations by Elmore County District 4 Commissioner Joe Faulk. The State Ethics Commission has turned in evidence of Faulk's potential misuse of his commission-issued mobile phone and submission of mileage reimbursements.
For the fiscal year dated Oct. 31, 2013 - Oct. 31, 2014, Faulk's reimbursement was $10,330.27. In comparison, District 1 Commissioner Mark Hragyil's reimbursement for the same period was $3,978.29. The reimbursement for District 2 Commissioner Trey Taylor was $2,955.33. District 3 Commissioner and Chairman David Bowen's reimbursements totaled $3,556.88, while District 5 Commissioner Stephanie Daniels Smoke's total was $3,711.
Faulk's figures for the current fiscal year dated Oct. 31, 2014 - March 31, 2015 are $2,716.10, an average of $543.22 per month. The average monthly figure for the 2014-'15 fiscal year was $860.86.
Here are Faulk's reimbursements for fiscal years dating back to 2003:
Oct. 31, 2013 - Oct. 31, 2014 - $10,330.27
Oct. 31, 2012 - Oct. 31, 2013 - $5,827.53
Oct. 31, 2011 - Oct. 31, 2012 - $8,856.35
Oct. 31, 2010 - Oct. 31, 2011 - $11,554.39
Oct. 31, 2009 - Oct. 31, 2010 - $10,243.22
Oct. 31, 2008 - Oct. 31, 2009 - $23,225.54
Oct. 31, 2007 - Oct. 31, 2008 - $18,725.69
Oct. 31, 2006 - Oct. 31, 2007 - $26,555.58
Oct. 31, 2005 - Oct. 31, 2006 - $18,558.90
Oct. 31, 2004 - Oct. 31, 2005 - $11,055.65
Oct. 31, 2003 - Oct. 31, 2004 - $7,066.74
Faulk was fined $500 in 2010 for an ethics violation that occured in 2008 during Faulk's stint as chairman of the commission regarding a trip to Washington, D.C. Faulk's reimbursements including mileage in 2008 ($26,555.58) was the highest total for documented records during his term as commissioner.
The review indicates that Faulk turned in reimbursement requests for mileage from his district on 16 occasions when he was not present in the county.
Additional findings in the report indicate that Faulk surpassed his alloted cellular minutes on the plan paid by the county. Those minutes were increased to avoid overage fees. A study of Faulk's Verizon account evaluated a seven-month span from March 26, 2014 - Oct. 25, 2014.
Records showed that Faulk used approximately 21,000 minutes during the period. The average use of the other commissioners during the same time frame ranged from 2,934 - 4,878 minutes. Fauk's usage accounted for 58% of all commissioners' mobile usage.
Faulk's data usage during the same period was over 46 million KBs. No other commissioner used more than 1.5 million KBs. Faulk's data usage accounted for about 93% of all commissioners during that span.
Records also indicate that Faulk made hundreds of calls to his family and business, SRA Foods. The information also shows that the phone was utilized to access dating sites, music videos and other websites unrelated to county commission business.
Elmore County Commission Chairman Bowen commented on the report. "The facts and figures speak for themselves," he said. "Commissioner Faulk needs to answer for his own actions."