Archived Story

Despite felony, Young legal to run for office

Published 1:56pm Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Editor’s note: Several readers have asked The Outlook to write a story explaining mayoral candidate Bill Young’s felony conviction in the 1990s and how he is able to legally run for mayor.

Alexander City Councilman Bill Young, a candidate for mayor in the upcoming elections and the son of Alexander City’s sitting Mayor Barbara Young, was convicted of a federal felony – fraud by wire – and served 11 months in prison 19 years ago. However, in 2007, the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles restored his voter rights in the State of Alabama, which makes him eligible to hold public office here under Alabama state law.

According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Young was incarcerated at the Federal Prison Camp in Montgomery,  a minimum-security prison for federal offenders, located at Maxwell Air Force Base. Young began his sentence July 6, 1993 and was relocated from the Federal Prison Camp to his home June 30, 1994. Young said that he spent the remainder of his sentence in home confinement.
Young initially refused to discuss this with The Outlook on the record, saying that the newspaper was trying to discredit him as a candidate for mayor.

Later, after The Outlook‘s repeated requests for comment over several months’ time, Young said on the record, “I’m not going to respond to something that has absolutely nothing to do with this election. This happened when I was in my late 20s, and I’m 52 years old now.”

After discussion with the newspaper’s legal counsel, The Outlook contacted the clerk›s office of the United States District Court, Middle District of Alabama, Eastern Division and requested copies of the public records pertaining to Young’s case, which were provided.

According to a judgment obtained from the United States District Court, William Hare Young, Sr. pleaded guilty to one count of fraud by wire. The judgment is signed and dated June 17, 1993.

Fraud by wire, or Title 18 U.S.C. Section 1343, is described in the United States code as “… having devised or intending to devise any scheme or artifice to defraud, or for obtaining money or property by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises, transmits or causes to be transmitted by means of wire, radio, or television communication in interstate or foreign commerce, any writings, signs, signals, pictures, or sounds for the purpose of executing such scheme or artifice …”

Young was employed at Russell Corporation at the time the offense occurred and lost his job because of the incident.

A conviction of fraud by wire carries with it a maximum sentence of 20 years, which makes it a Class C felony.

The judgment called for Young to be committed to custody of the United States Bureau of Prisons for 15 months on or before noon July 7, 1993.

On the statement of reasons section of the case judgment, the court advised that a $3,000 to $30,000 fine could be imposed, but this fine was waived due to Young’s inability to pay. Restitution was set at $197,841.18, but the court declined to order restitution due to Young’s earning ability and financial resources.

According to officials at the Bureau of Prisons, Young’s sentence ended Aug. 5, 1994.

In Alabama, any felony conviction results in the loss of voting rights.

While only the president of the United States can issue a pardon for a federal crime that applies to all 50 states, those who have been convicted of a federal felony have the right to petition the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles to restore their civil and political rights, such as the right to vote and right to bear arms.

Young did so and the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles granted Young a pardon that restored his voting rights in the State of Alabama on Oct. 16, 2007, according to a certificate from the Board of Pardons and Paroles which Young provided The Outlook yesterday.

Young’s right to possess a pistol or other firearms was not restored, his felony record was not expunged and his crime was not fully pardoned.

However, Young did serve his full sentence and did have his voter rights restored in Alabama and has no further debt to society related to the felony conviction.

Since the State of Alabama requires all mayoral or city council candidates to have the right to vote in order to run for office, the restoration of Young’s voter rights in 2007 makes him eligible to hold his position as an elected official on the Alexander City Council and to run for mayor in the upcoming city election.


  • sunnylevel

    Good article! I’m appalled to think that ANY right thinking individual would be “OK” with having this person as Mayor.

    Mr. Young was not even grateful enough to pay back his former employer for the money he STOLE. Leopards don’t ever change their spots…

    This “Good Old Boy” southern politics will continue to hold this whole region back until YOU, the voters, decide to change it. I won’t be holding my breath…

  • sportsman4x4

    I do not want anyone serving in any office that has a felony!!!

  • cedarcreek

    Good Article, explaining what happened and how time was served. I do support the fact he should be able to run for office, his rights were restored. If everyone who has done something wrong in there life was never given a second chance this would be a sad world. Most of the elected officials on the national level have much worse evil records than this issue with no time served or even been held accountable for there actions. Good Ole Boy politics is spreading dirt about other candidates to deflect people from looking at there own records.

  • sunnylevel

    @cedarcreek – There’s “forgivness”, and then there’s “stupidity”.

    We don’t hire alcoholics as bartenders. We don’t hire child molesters as babysitters. I think you should probably take all of your cash and valuables and let Bill Young “hold” it all for you. Please report back on how well you sleep…

    You get the Government that you deserve.

  • Char Aznable

    So we are supposed to believe that a 28 year old can’t tell the difference between right and wrong?

  • crow

    I guess ya’ll also gonna say you’ve never tried it or you didn’t inhale. Probably the same ones who go to church every Sunday totin’ their Bible in one hand and castin’ stones with the other. I don’t know what is in anyone’s heart but I’ve liked Bill Young ever since I first met him and this article doesn’t change the way I feel about him. If you know him it wouldn’t matter to you either. The Outlook is just doing what they’re supposed to, reporting.

  • 35010taxpayer

    No one is disputing what he has done as a citizen or for the community. But it is very relevant being convicted with a felony & running for Mayor. The Outlook stated the facts that people wanted to know. We have all did things we are not proud of but a felony is a serious crime & when you run for a public office expect people to ask. I noticed several times lately his home is in foreclosure. It has nothing to do with his character or what he has done for the city. Looks like he is having problems with his own business. How can he run a city?

  • crow

    Foreclosures are happening all across the nation to good people.

  • blowsbubbles

    Thank you for a very well done article addressing an issue that has been on the minds of many. I appreciate that it was clear, factual and non-judgemental.

    While it is now clear that Mr Young has the legal right to run for office, it is up to us as informed citizens to decide whether it is he or someone else who is best qualified to hold that office.

    The City of Alexander City is a Big Business, one with a budget in excess of $50,000,000.00.

    We taxpayer/citizens can be compared to the owners of the business and we should hire (elect) the most qualified person we can get to run our city. We should elect someone who is HONEST, has INTEGRITY amd has REAL EXPERIENCE running a REAL BUSINESS.

  • bamafan1

    it seems to me that if i person makes a mistake they should not be punished for the rest of there life unless its murder and i dont think bill young has killed anybody lately and as for his house being in foreclosure that tells me the guy is struggling just like we all are id rather elect a guy that knows how tough it is to survive than a millionaire who has the money not to care . it seems to me the outlook would do more if it sticks to reporting the news insted of manufacturing it its nice to know this town has dirty politics just like washington Bill must have some people worried to get all this attention and we all know dirty politics donk fly well

  • sunnylevel

    LOL @bamafan1… Are you drunk???

  • concernedforalexcity

    Ok, the one thing I must say to this and a couple of the other candidates. PLEASE stop whinning and complaining about the citizens of this town questioning the integrity of any candidate. If these candidates owned their own business, they would want to hire the very best employees they could hire for the least amount they would work for. (and they all know it) I’ve heard good and bad things about each candidate from felony charges to sexual misconduct back in one candidate’s college days to one candidate actually allowing illegals to reside at rental property that he owns in town. These are legitimate concerns that citizens of this town have. The candidates that are being the most verbally disturbed by the citizens concerns are (in my opinion) the ones that should be looked at the closest. In the state of Alabama, you are an adult at 19. Bill Young came from a family that knows the laws. His grand dad was a judge. He willingly chose to break the law and he used the system to get out of paying back what he stole. In my book, that’s not paying your dues to society. He came back home and (to our knowledge) has broken no more laws. He is a nice guy, but has more issues pressing in his personal life that WILL PREVENT him from being the best mayor for us right now. It was easy for Bill to come back home and be accepted because this town welcomes the prodical children back with open arms anyway. I wish he would TRUELY DO THE RIGHT THING AND PAY RESTITUTION, and STOP making excuses for himself whenever questioned about it. Own your crime. I was wondering though. Why did Bill wait until the year BEFORE he ran for city council to get his voter rights restored? Why not try before then? Why is his voter base mostly young adults that didn’t even know about his felony? YOU DON’T GIVE THE KEYS TO THE CITY TO A THIEF. Esp. one that HAS NOT paid the price for his crimes. He got a slap on the wrist for something that anyone else would’ve done time for and had to pay the whole restitution for reguardless of how they were to pay for it. I’ve never heard of that before. We need a town hall style Q AND A session for the public to ask each candidate questions and air out concerns. for the people by the people. If transparency is what we want, then why hold each candidate to that standard? We don’t want the same local government we’ve been having. A city that is more concerned with spending money on needless things while our roads go into disrepair. Then we are expected to have damaged vehicles from the bandaid style road work our city gives us. We pay taxes and elect officials and we expect more from our tax dollars. Wake up Mayoral candidates….this job interview process is not going to be a cake walk like in the past. We can’t afford to let likeability factors to get in the way of GOOD BUSINESS! AND stop whinning or get out of the race. And stop trashing the forums….you’re reading them so there must be something to it. ;)

  • Char Aznable

    I think concernedforalexcity nailed it.

  • Barry

    I lived in Alex City until I was 19. I went to school with Bill. His mother was my principal in the 6th grade. Bill made a mistake, and he paid dearly for it. If I was a voter in Alex City, BILL YOUNG would have MY VOTE!

    I still have a lot of “friends” in Alex City and I know Alex City is full of hypocrites.