Alabama State Rep. Will Dismukes, R-Prattville, who last week came under fire for attending a birthday party for the Ku Klux Klan’s first leader, has been charged in connection with a theft at a business where he worked, reports AL.com.
Montgomery County District Attorney Daryl Bailey on Thursday announced the first-degree theft of property charge against Dismukes.
Bailey told reporters that his office launched an investigation after a May 20 complaint from the owners of Weiss Flooring about the alleged theft of a large sum of money by an employee.
“After countless hours of investigation, which consisted of witness interviews, obtaining bank records and gathering other evidence, a decision was made by myself and prosecutors in my office, along with these investigators, that probable cause existed that a crime had been committed,” Bailey said.
“A few minutes ago, a warrant for theft of property in the 1st degree, was signed by a representative of that business and issued by a Montgomery County magistrate for the arrest of Alabama state representative Will Dismukes.”
“We are giving him until late this afternoon to turn himself in,” Bailey said.
Bailey did not disclose the amount of the alleged theft but said the charge of first-degree theft applies to amounts exceeding $2,500.
“I will tell you that the alleged amount is a lot more than that,” Bailey said.
If convicted of the felony charge, Dismukes would automatically be removed from office. He was first elected to the seat in 2018.
Last week Dismukes stepped down as pastor of a Baptist church after a controversy over his recent speaking appearance at a birthday party for the first grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.
“Dismukes resigned as pastor of Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Prattville after backlash resulting from a Facebook post highlighting his attendance at the birthday party for early KKK leader Nathan Bedford Forrest, who was grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan from 1867-69,” reports AL.com. “Dismukes gave the invocation at the party held July 25 at Fort Dixie in Selma, an event that coincided with ceremonies honoring the late U.S. Rep. John Lewis, an Alabama native and longtime Georgia congressman who was a leader in the civil rights movement and was badly beaten at the ‘Bloody Sunday’ march in Selma in 1965.”
The Alabama Democratic Party called for Dismukes to resign and the Republican Party called his attendance improper.