Sheriff’s office convictions upheld

coup norris yacks okaloosa sheriff charlie morris convictions

Michael Coup, Sandra Norris and David Yacks

FILE PHOTO / Northwest Florida Daily News
Published: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 05:02 PM.

The First District Court of Appeal on Tuesday upheld the convictions and sentences of Michael Coup, Sandra Norris and David Yacks for their role in former Okaloosa County Sheriff Charlie Morris’ bonus kickback scheme.

“I always felt the trial judge, Linda Nobles, conducted a fair and appropriate trial and that there were no errors,” State Attorney Bill Eddins said. “I am relieved, however, that the court has ruled in this manner.”

Morris gave out bonuses to employees and required them to return a portion for his personal use. Coup, Norris and Yacks returned a portion of their bonuses to Morris on several occasions. As Morris’ scheme grew, Coup — the Sheriff’s Office’s chief deputy — also received money from Morris originally kicked back to the sheriff, prosecutors said.

Norris was Morris’ finance director and Yacks was the assistant administrator of information technology.

Coup, Norris and Yacks were convicted of racketeering and grand theft on Oct. 19, 2010. Coup was also convicted of official misconduct. They were sentenced March 30, 2011, to four years in state prison and six years’ probation after their release.

They were free on bond while their appeals were pending.

It takes about 30 days for the appeals court ruling to become final, Eddins said. The defendants can file an appeal in that time, but Eddins does not believe they will.

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