ANDALUSIA, Ala. (October 11, 2012)—Mary Ella Hixon, 91, pleaded guilty Thursday to theft in the illegal transfer of money from the south Alabama town where she was mayor for three decades.
Authorities say police began investigating the River Falls mayor after The Andalusia Star-News reported in August about the city selling property to a man who was living with Hixon.
The probe revealed Hixon had illegally transferred $201,610 in city money to others in the last three years.
Hixon resigned as mayor and was sentenced to five years in prison, all suspended because of her age.
A judge also ordered Hixon to repay the money and Hixon's estate is responsible if she dies before all the money is refunded.
The town of about 510 people is near the Florida line.