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Special to the News
Last Friday Attorney General Steve Marshall announced the felony convictions of a former Tuscaloosa County license commissioner.
Lynne Campbell Robbins pleaded guilty in Tuscaloosa County Circuit Court to using her public employment for personal gain, a Class B felony; theft in the first degree, a Class B felony; and computer tampering for the purpose of committing unlawful act or to defraud, a Class C felony. Robbins agreed to serve 28 months in the custody of the Alabama Department of Corrections and to pay $136,511.55 in restitution to Tuscaloosa County.
“A public servant is entrusted with protecting taxpayer funds, but Robbins took advantage of that trust for personal gain,” said Attorney General Marshall. “Public corruption has a ripple effect, and we must root out the problem to rebuild trust in our communities.”
Robbins served as the Tuscaloosa County license commissioner from October of 2017 to December of 2019 and had worked for the License Commission since 1999. A Tuscaloosa County grand jury indicted Robbins in August of 2021.
As part of Robbins’ plea agreement, she agreed that she used her position as the Tuscaloosa County license commissioner to take $136,511.55 from Tuscaloosa County between 2016 and 2019.
In 2019, Robbins wrote a series of sixteen checks from her personal checking account made payable to the License Commission totaling $4,850, and she placed these checks into the License Commission’s cash drawers and took $4,850 in cash. These checks were returned unpaid because of non-sufficient funds in Robbins’ personal checking account.
Robbins did not return the face value of the checks and avoided the $30 fee that was charged to the citizens of Tuscaloosa County who bounced checks at the License Commission.
In addition to that scheme, Robbins also used her access to the License Commission’s computer network and database to access the public’s licensing transactions to take money. Robbins would “refund” a previous sales tax or license plate transaction and take the amount of the refund out of the License Commission’s cash deposits for herself.
The Tuscaloosa taxpayers who obtained their tags in those transactions did not receive the money from the refunds. Robbins obtained $131,881.55 through this scheme.
Attorney General Marshall thanked the Alabama Department of Examiners of Public Accounts and the Tuscaloosa County License Commission for their assistance in this case. Marshall also commended the special agents of the Attorney General’s Special Prosecutions Division for their outstanding work to achieve this conviction, as well as Assistant Attorneys General Alana K. Cammack, Verne H. Speirs and James R. Houts.