State to investigate Greene County sheriff’s campaign

By WVUA 23 News Reporter Jabaree Prewitt and WVUA 23 Digital Reporter Kyle Hamrick

State investigators will soon be looking into certain questionable donations to Greene County Sheriff Joe Benison’s re-election campaign in the 2022 Primary Election.

As first reported in Alabama Political Reporter, Benison is accused of accepting campaign donations from the Birmingham-based political action committee Citizens for Lawful Government, which has accepted donations from Greene County casino-owner Palace Entertainment, LLC, Tuscaloosa real property company WWCH, LLC and Greene County nonprofit T.S. Police Support League, Inc. according to documents available on the Alabama Secretary of State’s website.

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill said the state has turned over all information to Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall for further investigation.

“We are trying to evaluate what’s exactly going on in regard to these contributions from these different entities,” he said.

A campaign finance report dated March 31 showed T.S. Police Support League donated $18,800 to Citizens for Lawful Government, which then donated $18,800 to Jonathan Benison in two separate transactions on March 20 and 25.

Palace Entertainment donated $10,000 and WWCH donated $1,000 to Citizens for Lawful Government on April 6, which then donated $7,500 to Benison on April 7, according to another campaign finance report dated April 29.

Merrill explained certain types of organizations or entities are not allowed by law to contribute to political campaigns.

T.S. Police Support League, Inc. filed as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization in its most recent tax filings.

To maintain its tax exempt status, a 501(c)(3) organization, “may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates,” according to the Internal Revenue Service.

No word yet on when the Attorney General will take any actions.

We will stay on this still-developing story.

Categories: Local News