Former lawmaker arrested on misdemeanor campaign charge

David Burkette

A former state senator who resigned suddenly this week was arrested Thursday on misdemeanor campaign finance charges, the state attorney general announced.

Former State Sen. David Burkette was arrested on charges 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 $3,625.00 in campaign contributions into his campaign checking account, and instead, deposited or cashed those contributions into or against his personal bank account.

The attorney general’s office said a violation of the campaign checking account provision of the Fair Campaign Practices Act is a class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in prison and a fine not exceeding $6,000.

Burkette of Montgomery resigned suddenly from the Alabama Senate on Tuesday, submitting a one-sentence resignation to Ivey and Senate leadership. His resignation was effective immediately.

An email to his attorney was not immediately returned.

“I may have stepped down, but I haven’t stepped out. Some may wonder will I stop serving. There is not a bone in my body that will stop serving the people from this district. Great things happen when you put everything in God’s hands and I have,” Burkette said in a statement about his resignation.

A retired educator, Burkette served on the Montgomery City Council from 2007 to 2018. He was elected to the Senate in 2018 to fill the seat previously held by Quinton Ross, who is now president of Alabama State University. Burkette suffered a stroke in December of 2018, and used a wheelchair at the Statehouse while scheduling therapy sessions around legislative duties.

A special election will be held to fill the seat.

Republished with the permission of the Associated Press.