Mobile County grand jury indicts former Prichard water board manager, husband and current employee
MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - A Mobile County grand jury on Thursday indicted the former Prichard water board operations manager and her husband on charges related to misuse of utility funds and also charged a current employees.
Nia Malika Bradley previously had been arrested earlier this year, and a judge found probable cause to send the case to a grand jury, which now has formally charged her.
Bradley faces a charge of aggravated theft by deception, a relatively new charge that carries a penalty of five to 30 years in prison. She also has been charged with first-degree theft, a Class B felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison.
The grand jury also indicted Teresa Lewis, the current physical services manager of the Prichard Water Works & Sewer Board, with first-degree theft and aggravated theft by deception.
Prosecutors have alleged that Bradley put more than $200,000 worth of personal expenses on a credit card issued by the Prichard Water Works & Sewer Board.
The grand jury also indicted her husband, Anthony Bradley, on two counts of fraudulent use of a credit card, while reaffirmed a charge of first-degree receiving stolen property.
State and federal law enforcement agencies in February raided the water board headquarters, and investigators later searched the Bradley home in west Mobile, hauling away a large number of boxes of consumer goods, including several Gucci bags, stacks of name brand shoes like Nike, Adidas and Jordan, along with multiple Louis Vuitton bags. Law enforcement officers also took a variety of long guns including rifles and shotguns along with several handguns.
The Prichard water board initially hired Nia Bradley as an independent contractor but eventually converted her status to full-time employee.
Her attorney, Jason Darley, has maintained in the past that the water board authorized Bradley to charge personal expenses as part of her compensation. But board attorney Jay Ross called it the “worst cast of public corruption” he ever has seen.
The board ordered a review of expe3nses after questions arose about spending between 2018 and 2021. Those expenses include purchases from Louis Vuitton, Dillard’s and Victoria’s Secret, along with first-class airlines tickets and high-end hotels in New York, Chicago, Sandestin and other cities. There were also subscriptions for services like YouTube Music, Hulu and Netflix.
Mobile County prosecutors also have raised questions about building materials charged to Bradley’s utility-issued credit card.
Gordon Armstrong, an attorney for Anthony Bradley, said he does not know exactly what prosecutors are alleging in the new indictment. He said his client was driving his grandson home from the barbershop Thursday when he got a call notifying him he had to turn himself in on the new charges.
“It’s extremely concerning to me,” Armstrong said.
He said the District Attorney’s Office easily could have contacted him to arrange for his client to turn himself in.
“The whole point of this is to make a media splash,” he said.
Updated at 6:56 p.m. with additional information. Updated at 7:17 p.m. with information about the Teresa Lewis indictment.
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