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Steven T. Marshall
Alabama Attorney General www.ago.alabama.gov

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Joy Patterson (334) 242-7491

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 June 9, 2017

AG MARSHALL ANNOUNCES PRISON SENTENCES FOR CORRUPT FORMER EMPLOYEES OF THE GENERAL CONTRACTORS LICENSURE BOARD ON FELONY ETHICS VIOLATIONS

        (MONTGOMERY)—Attorney General Steve Marshall today announced that two former employees of the Alabama Licensing Board for General Contractors (GC Board) each has been sentenced to serve three years in prison for ethics violations and criminal possession of forged instruments.

        Nancy C. Saffo, 52, of Pike Road, and Christy Easterling, 48, of Prattville, each pleaded guilty in December of 2016 in Montgomery County Circuit Court to one count of intentionally using her official position for personal gain, a class B felony, and one count of criminal possession of a forged instrument in the second degree, a class C felony.

        Saffo was sentenced this morning and Easterling was sentenced yesterday. In addition to their prison sentences, Saffo was ordered to pay a $45,000 fine as well as $20,000 for Crime Victims Compensation, and Easterling was ordered to pay a $35,000 fine. 

       “The people of Alabama deserve honest services from their State government. These defendants breached the public’s trust and have now been held to account through the hard work of my Special Prosecution Division,” said Attorney General Marshall. “The court’s imposition of a prison sentence sends a strong message that violations of the Alabama Ethics Act will not be tolerated.”

       The GC Board protects the safety and welfare of all Alabamians by insuring that general contractors who perform large projects such as schools, hotels, and highways, meet minimum technical and financial standards.  Those who cannot pass the required competency test, or who do not have the financial ability to reliably engage in large construction projects, are not issued a license.

       After receiving information that some individuals had received a GC license through corruption, despite failing to meet the minimum standards, the Special Prosecutions Division (SPD) of the Attorney General's office initiated an investigation.  

       After a thorough investigation, the SPD determined that on multiple occasions, defendants Easterling and Saffo, who were licensing specialists at the GC Board, issued licenses to applicants who were unqualified in exchange for money.  To execute the scheme, the defendants attached forged documents to the applications of the unqualified recipients.  Over the course of the scheme, defendant Easterling received approximately $32,000 and defendant Saffo received over $60,000.  The payments were made in cash and by checks that were deposited into the defendants’ personal bank accounts.

       The SPD presented evidence of these crimes to a Montgomery County grand jury in July of 2016, and the defendants were indicted on multiple ethics and forgery charges. On December 8, 2016, defendants Easterling and Saffo both pleaded guilty in a Montgomery County Circuit Court to one felony count of use of official position for personal gain and one felony count of criminal possession of a forged instrument in the second degree.

        Attorney General Marshall praised those involved in bringing this case to a successful conclusion, noting in particular Assistant Attorney General Katie Langer and Special Agents of his Special Prosecutions Division. He also thanked the Alabama GC Board for its cooperation in the investigation.

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