Former Dothan Police Chief John Powell has been arrested following his indictment on charges he ook illegal campaign contributions. Powell was booked into the Escambia County, Florida jail last night and released on bond.
Powell, 48, was released a short time later on a personal recognizance bond. He will be arraigned on Friday.
A grand jury met Monday to hear evidence Powell accepted cash contributions over $50 in his campaign for sheriff of Escambia County. The total involved is believed to be slightly more than $2500. Taking such cash donations for a campaign is a misdemeanor in Florida. If convicted, he could be sentenced up to one year in jail. Powell said he plans to plead not guilty to the allegations. The investigation was launched after a complaint was filed by his opponent, Sheriff David Morgan.
"My opponent, to take the focus off the issues, has chosen
to make a
supporters even though he admittedly accepted more than $50 in cash contributions from a
number of people," Powell said in a written statement.
Powell served as Dothan's police chief from 2005-2009. He left to take a law enforcement job
in Florida--a position he quit after ethics questions arose regarding his campaign for sheriff in