FBI Birmingham
Public Affairs Specialist Paul E. Daymond
(205) 279-1457
December 6, 2017

AG Steve Marshall and FBI Announce Arrests of Birmingham Water Works Board Chair, Former Arcadis Vice President, and an Arcadis Subcontractor

MONTGOMERY, AL—Attorney General Steve Marshall and the Birmingham Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced the arrests of Sherry Lewis, the Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Birmingham Water Works, Jerry Jones, a former Vice President at Arcadis, and Terry Williams, the owner of Global Solutions International, Inc., on felony state ethics charges. Ms. Lewis, 55, Mr. Jones, 54, and Mr. Williams, 62, all surrendered, December 6, 2017, at the Jefferson County Jail.

Attorney General Marshall’s Special Prosecutions Division partnered with agents in the FBI’s Birmingham Division in an investigation into allegations of corruption in the Birmingham Water Works and its independent engineer of record, Arcadis (formerly known as Malcolm Pirnie), as well as Arcadis subcontractor, Global Solutions International, Inc. The Jefferson County Special Grand Jury remains empaneled and the investigation is ongoing.

Prosecutors presented evidence to the grand jury on Tuesday, December 5, resulting in the indictments* of Lewis, Jones, and Williams. Specifically, the indictments charge the following violations of the Alabama Ethics Act:

Sherry Lewis, Chair, Board of Directors of the Birmingham Water Works

  • Count 1 charges Sherry Lewis with violating the state ethics law by intentionally using her office to obtain personal gain for herself, her family member, and the businesses with which she is associated;
  • Count 2 charges Sherry Lewis with violating the state ethics law by voting on or participating in matters in which she or a family member had a financial interest of gain; and
  • Count 3 charges Sherry Lewis with violating the state ethics law by soliciting or receiving anything for the purpose of corruptly influencing official action.

Jerry Jones, former Vice President, Arcadis

  • Count 1 charges Jerry Jones with violating the state ethics law by aiding and abetting Sherry Lewis’s unlawful use of office to obtain personal gain for herself, her family member, and the businesses with which she is associated;
  • Count 2 charges Jerry Jones with violating the state ethics law by aiding or abetting Lewis’s voting on or participating in matters in which she or a family member had a financial interest of gain; and
  • Count 3 charges Jerry Jones with violating the state ethics law by offering or providing anything for the purpose of corruptly influencing official action.

Terry Williams, Owner, Global Solutions International

  • Count 1 charges Terry Williams with violating the state ethics law by aiding and abetting Sherry Lewis’s unlawful use of office to obtain personal gain for herself, her family member, and the businesses with which she is associated;
  • Count 2 charges Terry Williams with violating the state ethics law by aiding or abetting Lewis’s voting on or participating in matters in which she or a family member had a financial interest of gain; and
  • Count 3 charges Terry Williams with violating the state ethics law by offering or providing anything for the purpose of corruptly influencing official action.

“I want to thank the Birmingham Division of the FBI for partnering with my Special Prosecutions Division to investigate this matter,” said Attorney General Marshall. “The citizens of this state expect honesty and integrity from public servants at all levels of government. As Attorney General, a top priority is to ensure that any person who violates the public’s trust will be held accountable.”

“I certainly appreciate the partnership of the Alabama Attorney General’s Office in this case,” said Johnnie Sharp Jr., special agent in charge of the Birmingham Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. “Public corruption continues to be the FBI’s highest criminal priority because it erodes the public’s trust and rips at the fabric of democracy. If you know something about a corrupt public official, call us. Then rest assured that the FBI and our partners will act on your information.”

No further information about the investigation or about these alleged crimes other than stated in the indictment may be released at this time.

If convicted, all of the defendants face a maximum of 20 years in prison and fines of $30,000 for each of the three counts in the indictments.

The Attorney General commended Deputy Attorney General Mike Duffy, Assistant Attorney General Peggy Rossmanith, investigators in the Attorney General’s Special Prosecutions Division, and special agents of the Birmingham Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

*Note: An indictment is merely an accusation. Defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.