Ala town fixing mess left by mayor's crimes

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RIVER FALLS, Ala. (AP) — The south Alabama town of River Falls is trying to sort out the mess left by a 91-year-old mayor who pleaded guilty to stealing $200,000 from the city.

The new mayor, Patricia Gunter, tells WAKA-TV (http://bit.ly/Tj3FH9 ) there's a lot to figure out.

She says the water system hasn't sent bills regularly for a long time, leaving unpaid balances of almost $60,000.

Gunter says the Covington County town of about 510 people has missed a lot of opportunities and needs to catch up.

Longtime mayor Mary Ella Hixon pleaded guilty in October to stealing about $200,000 over a period of years. A man who lived with her also is charged with taking money from the city.

Gunter was appointed mayor after Hixon's plea deal vacated the office.

Authorities say the thefts left the city all but broke.




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