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Former Clarke County Sheriff pleads not guilty to federal charges

Ray Norris is accused of using loans intended for jail expenses to pay off personal debts
Published: May. 18, 2022 at 9:53 PM CDT
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MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - Former Clarke County Sheriff Ray Norris appeared in federal court Wednesday afternoon for an arraignment hearing.

Norris is accused of using tens of thousands of dollars in loans intended for jail expenses to pay off personal debts.

Norris officially pleaded not guilty Wednesday to those charges.

Norris resigned in May 2021 after the allegations came to light. A federal grand jury in Mobile handed up an indictment in March.

That indictment accuses the former Sheriff of applying for loans under false pretenses.

We’re told four of those loans, totaling nearly 50 thousand dollars were said to be for jail food and the sheriff’s office.

But prosecutors say Norris actually used the money to pay off overdrawn personal accounts and gambling expenses.

His attorney told us that his client is in good spirits.

“This isn’t the first time that he’s been confronted with this and he’s ready to have his time in court and then try to vindicate himself. It’s time now that we know the timetable is starting that we’re going to sit down and get to this and get ready to fight it,” Gordon Armstrong said.

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