Ex-sheriff gets probation in tax case

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — A former Alabama sheriff will avoid going to prison after pleading guilty to failing to file tax returns.

News outlets report a federal magistrate sentenced former Morgan County Sheriff Ana Franklin to two years on probation during a hearing in Huntsville on Thursday.

The 55-year-old Franklin also must perform 300 hours of community service.

Franklin faced a maximum sentence of six months in prison for failing to file tax returns for 2015. That same year she had taken $160,000 from a jail food account and provided it to a car lot.

Franklin and her lawyer had argued the money was a loan, but a judge concluded it was personal income.

Franklin didn't seek re-election to a third term last year. She told reporters the episode is behind her now.