BARBOUR COUNTY, Ala (WDHN) — A former Barbour County Sheriff who pled guilty to felony ethics violations earlier this summer has been sentenced.

On Thursday, August 10, a Barbour County Judge sentenced 52-year-old Leroy Upshaw to ten years split to three years. Upshaw will serve his three years in the Barbour County Community Corrections. The judge also ordered Upshaw to pay a $30,000 fine.

According to the Alabama Attorney General’s Office, in June, Upshaw admitted that during his 20 years as the Barbour County Sheriff, he, or a sheriff’s office employee acting on his orders, wrote him checks totaling $32,135 drawn from the official sheriff’s office bank accounts.

The $32,135 was meant to support law enforcement and care for prisoners, but Upshaw says those checks went to bank accounts owned by him or his family.

The Alabama Department of Examiners of Public Accounts found Upshaw liable for $29,000 and told him to repay it. Still, instead of paying the debt personally, Upshaw repaid the Sheriff’s Office with $29,000 of Sheriff’s Office funds.

Abusing the taxpayers’ money will not be tolerated in our state, and I am pleased the
defendant will be held accountable for betraying the public’s trust

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall

Upshaw was sheriff from January 2007 to January 2019. In September 2020, the Attorney General’s Special Prosecutions Division obtained two warrants related to the ethics charges, and he surrendered himself to the Barbour County Sheriff’s Office on September 28, 2020.

A Barbour County Grand Jury indicted Upshaw in March 2021.

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