WAAY 31 I-Team Investigation: Sheriff Ana Franklin's questionable connections

Bankruptcy filings further expose Sheriff Franklin's questionable connections to an ex-con who ran a collapsing used car business. There are more troublesome ties to Franklin.

Posted: Feb 27, 2018 8:28 PM
Updated: Feb 27, 2018 8:47 PM

Tonight, a WAAY 31 I-Team Instant Investigation.

The bankruptcy of a Priceville used car dealership exposed questionable connections between Morgan County’s sheriff and a key person inside the business who is on the wrong side of the law.

Morgan County Sheriff Ana Franklin has been accused of loaning $150,000 to a felon. Franklin is on record claiming she didn't know the felon had a stake in Priceville Partners, LLC.

Greg Steenson is an ex-con. He pleaded guilty to bank fraud and conspiracy. The felon owned 40% of Priceville Partners, LLC.

Steve Ziaja is Sheriff Franklin's ex-boyfriend. Ziaja is one of the creditors listed in Priceville Partners bankruptcy filing. Ziaja is in trouble with the law. He's charged with 11 felony counts of computer tampering and one count of using his job as an

When the used car lot filed for bankruptcy, it left creditors holding the bag for nearly five and half million dollars.

The latest complaints in the Chapter 11 filing point fingers at Priceville Partners’ owners, managers, employees and investors.

One of those investors is Sheriff Ana Franklin.

WAAY 31 obtained the latest in a series of bankruptcy complaints. The court filings state Sheriff Franklin’s connection to Performance Auto Sales which was located on Point Mallard Parkway.

The sheriff’s involvement began with a $150,000 cashier’s check dated June, 5th 2015.

The complaints claim Franklin used your tax money for the loan to Priceville Partners, LLC.

She eventually paid that money back to replenish the jail food account.

Creditors want to know why Sheriff Franklin invested in a business partly owned by someone with a criminal record.

WAAY 31 contacted Franklin. She told us she can’t talk about a pending legal matter.

That matter involves felon Greg Steenson.

Steenson pleaded guilty to conspiracy and bank fraud and was sentenced in 2002. The ex-con owned 40 percent of the business and now faces additional theft and forgery charges.

Franklin insists she never knew Steenson was involved and thought Harold Jeffereys was the sole owner of Priceville Partners.

Jeffereys owned only 60 percent of the business after buying out his son’s stake. Ben Jeffrey’s had owned 40 percent.

The bankruptcy trustee, attorney Stuart Maples, complains when Priceville Partners started to collapse in 2016, people inside and outside the business violated bankruptcy laws by transferring assets.

Among the violations: embezzeling money, giving cash and cars to family and friends, even giving lavish gifts like homes and a lakeside condo.

The bankruptcy suit also points at Sheriff Franklin’s daughter, Alyssa.

She worked for Priceville Partners and is accused of giving below market auto loans and cancelling debts owed by her husband.

Documents also reveal one more connection to the sheriff: an ex- boyfriend. Steven Ziaja is an Alabama Alcohol Beverage Control officer. He’s also one of the creditors listed in the bankruptcy filing.

He faces 11 felony charges of computer tampering and one count of using his job as a state agent for personal gain.

Earlier this month, Franklin announced she won’t seek re-election.

Huntsville
Clear
69° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 69°
Florence
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 97° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 72°
Fayetteville
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 70°
Decatur
Clear
69° wxIcon
Hi: 94° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 69°
Scottsboro
Broken Clouds
72° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 72°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 94827

Reported Deaths: 1674
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson12486232
Mobile9420204
Montgomery6449148
Madison516130
Tuscaloosa405769
Baldwin338023
Unassigned319060
Shelby316432
Marshall306034
Lee258844
Morgan229517
Etowah204128
DeKalb174513
Calhoun167213
Elmore167238
Walker149864
Houston134812
Dallas130523
St. Clair128915
Russell12772
Limestone126113
Franklin123820
Cullman118912
Colbert114113
Lauderdale112315
Autauga105021
Escambia104416
Talladega96713
Jackson9244
Tallapoosa84179
Chambers83538
Dale80223
Blount7593
Butler75635
Chilton7456
Coffee7365
Covington71620
Pike6877
Lowndes56724
Barbour5655
Marion56224
Marengo53614
Clarke4949
Hale46426
Bullock45011
Winston44011
Perry4364
Wilcox41410
Bibb4134
Monroe4084
Randolph39410
Conecuh37810
Pickens3779
Sumter36018
Lawrence3321
Macon32013
Washington32012
Crenshaw3123
Choctaw27712
Cherokee2587
Greene24911
Henry2493
Geneva2480
Clay2375
Lamar2122
Fayette1835
Cleburne1251
Coosa1012
Out of AL00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 116350

Reported Deaths: 1186
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby22212300
Davidson20001211
Rutherford629853
Hamilton588449
Knox429837
Williamson340525
Sumner331672
Unassigned30368
Out of TN283116
Wilson219023
Bradley181712
Montgomery181513
Sevier17916
Putnam167716
Trousdale15786
Robertson150619
Hamblen134614
Blount12229
Maury11597
Tipton11559
Washington11312
Madison98415
Bedford90111
Sullivan89512
Hardeman85815
Macon85513
Lake7650
Loudon7053
Bledsoe6861
Dickson6521
Fayette6528
Anderson6516
Gibson6444
Dyer5937
Cheatham5697
Lawrence5276
Jefferson5253
Henderson5172
Rhea5171
McMinn50920
Obion4904
Coffee4823
Warren4794
Carter4735
Lauderdale4558
Hardin4447
Cocke4392
Haywood4356
Smith4294
Roane4232
Greene4187
Hawkins4167
Cumberland3986
Monroe3979
Giles36913
Weakley3633
McNairy3515
DeKalb3312
Franklin3024
Marshall2753
Carroll2723
Lincoln2681
Crockett2534
Henry2480
Hickman2480
White2465
Claiborne2420
Campbell2291
Johnson2250
Wayne2242
Marion2134
Chester2062
Grainger1890
Decatur1883
Polk1853
Overton1551
Unicoi1480
Union1410
Cannon1360
Benton1261
Humphreys1183
Jackson1121
Scott1100
Grundy1082
Sequatchie1000
Meigs990
Morgan981
Fentress790
Hancock771
Perry770
Stewart740
Clay710
Lewis671
Houston560
Moore550
Van Buren350
Pickett301

Community Events