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Burkette to plead guilty

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A former Alabama state senator plans to plead guilty to a misdemeanor campaign finance charge under an agreement that would require him to pay a fine and waive his right to appeal.

A plea deal for David Burkette was filed in Montgomery County Circuit Court Monday, the Montgomery Advertiser reported.

Under its terms, Burkette, 63, would pay a $3,000 fine, and prosecutors would not seek restitution or demand a particular sentence, according to the newspaper. A hearing is scheduled for Sept. 21.

The Montgomery Democrat was arrested earlier in September on a charge of violating the Fair Campaign Practices Act during his run for the Montgomery City Council five years ago. The attorney general’s office said Burkette failed to deposit $3,625 in campaign contributions into his campaign checking account, and instead deposited them into his personal bank account or cashed them.

Burkette resigned from the Legislature ahead of his arrest.

The charge carried a sentence of up to one year in prison and a maximum fine of $6,000, according to the attorney general’s office.

Gov. Kay Ivey has called a special election to fill the Senate District 26 seat vacated by Burkette. The special primary election for Tuesday, November 17, 2020. A special primary runoff, if necessary, will be Tuesday, December 15, 2020 and and the special general election for Tuesday, March 2, 2021.

Qualifying for the race ended on Tuesday. Six Democrats qualified, according to the state party. They are: Deborah Anthony; Linda Burkette; Kirk Hatcher; John Knight; Janet May and TaShina Morris.

Alabama Daily News previously reported that Knight, a former long-time state representative, Morris, a current state representative, and Linda Burkette, the former senator’s wife, all planned to run for the seat. State Rep. Hatcher also expressed interest in running.

According to the Alabama Republican Party, William Green has qualified to run for the seat.

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