We are raising funds to assist Ms. Carrie Fulghum, former Mayor of Gainesville, Alabama who was unjustly forced to resign from office and pay $11,548.41 in restitution to the Town of Gainesville, for a minor ethics violation.
Carrie Fulghum was the first African-American elected to serve as a Gainesville City Council person in 1984. She served 16 years on the City Council and in 2000 she was elected the first African-American Mayor of Gainesville, a town in northern Sumter County, Alabama, with a population of 200, with 65% being African-American.
During her 36 years of service on the Gainesville Town Council – 16 as a Council member and 20 as Mayor. Ms. Fulghum helped to raise over $5 million for the town, including building a park and walking trail, two housing rehabilitation grants, purchase of a fire truck, developing a sewage system for the Towns of Gainesville, Emelle and Geiger, downtown beautification, a Health and Wellness Center, expansion of the Town Hall and many other beneficial improvements.
When Carrie Fulghum was re-elected Mayor for her fifth term in 2016, a group of councilmembers, led by conservative whites came after her charging mis-use of city funds. The City's minutes and financial records were researched for wrong-doing. Almost all of the issues were answered, except for two minor points, which were referred to the Alabama Ethics Commission.
The Alabama Ethics Commission referred this matter to Greg Griggers, the white District Attorney for the Alabama 17th. Judicial Circuit. Griggers, pressured by white and 'Uncle Tom' Gainesville council members, brought the matter to the Grand Jury and insisted that Mayor Fulghum resign and pay restitution to the Town of Gainesville before she will be able to run for political office again.
Ms. Fulghum resigned as Mayor of Gainesville on September 1, 2018 and has paid over $4,800 in restitution to the Ethics Commission since that time. The local newspaper, the Sumter County Record Journal, has also worked to hound the Mayor out of office. On April 25, 2019, the newspaper printed a story headlined, "Fulghum has failed to pay back missing funds" which was not true. She had paid over $4,000 to the Alabama Ethics Commission at that time. It took eight weeks, but in its June 20, 2019 newspaper the headline is "She's paying". The local newspaper in its c rusade against Black elected officials still has not printed the factual information about Mayor Fulghum.
The minor violations of the Ethics Act included the following: she used city funds to pay several months of light bills for the Gainesville Health and Wellness Center. Since she served on the Board of Directors of the Center, this was considered a minor violation of ethics. She is making restitution for these payments, even though the Town Council officially approved them and they were paid to Alabama Power Company not to her.
The other issue she is making restitution for involves a contract that the Town of Gainesville made with her son to cut grass. The contract was awarded after a competitive bidding process; however, the contract was renewed without rebidding for several years, after the initial bid, because the Council was pleased with the services provided. All of the payments were approved and paid by the Town Council. The minutes show that Ms. Fulghum abstained from voting on this contract since it involved her son.
In neither case is there any evidence that Ms. Fulghum received public funds or profited personally from the Town of Gainesville. No funds were misplaced, misused or stolen. Ms. Fulghum agreed to repay funds that she did not receive because of the Alabama Ethic Commission’s investigation and Griggers insistence.
A group of Carrie Fulghum's friends have become so outraged at the treatment of a courageous and conscientious Black woman by the "Alabama white power structure" and the biased coverage of the local press that we have come together to launch this GoFundMe page to raise funds to help Carrie Fulghum make restitution, pay her expenses and run for office again in Gainesville, Alabama in 2020.
We are specifically trying to assist Carrie Fulghum to pay the following expenses:
• $ 11,548.41 : restitution to the Alabama Ethic Commission and the Town of Gainesville • 3,000.00: Legal fees and expenses incurred in defending against false charges at the AL Ethic Commission • 6,000.00: To assist the Gainesville Health and Wellness Center
• 5,000.00: Campaign Fund for Carrie Fulghum for Mayor in 2020 __________________ $ 25,548.41 : Total Goal of the GoFundMe camapign
We are urging you if you are concerned about simple fairness and the continuation of democracy and voting rights in Alabama that you make a contribution toward this fund. When a Black woman runs for office in Alabama, trusting thye voting system, does a credible job for over 30 years,then democracy and justice loose, when she is hounded out of office by people motivated by jealousy and racial animosity. Please join us if you feel what happened to Mayor Carrie Fulghum must be reversed and overturned!