MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WRBL) – A Montgomery lawmaker is calling for a full investigation into Lee County District Attorney Brandon Hughes, and the cases he prosecuted after Hughes was arrested over the weekend for ethics violations, theft, and perjury charges.
Representative Jeremy Gray represents District 83 in the Alabama House and said Tuesday the matter needs further investigation and a review of Hughe’s cases as a prosecutor.
“In light of the very serious and disturbing charges facing Lee County District Attorney Brandon Hughes, and the brazen nature of his alleged crimes in which he used the power of his office to extort vulnerable citizens – including by threatening them with bogus charges – I call on the Alabama Attorney General’s Office and the US Department of Justice to open an inquiry into possible other instances in which Hughes misused the power of his office against the people of Lee County. That investigation should include a thorough review of all convictions and indictments procured by Hughes and should allow the people of Lee County an opportunity to report any additional instances of Hughes misusing his office,” said Gray.
The AG’s office alleges Hughes paid private attorneys with public funds to settle a matter that benefited himself and his wife.
Three counts of the indictment allege Hughes illegally hired his three grown children. Alabama State District Attorney payroll records between 2017 and 2019 his children were paid a total of $7,835.
Hughes is charged with illegally using the authority of his office for his personal benefit by issuing a district attorney’s subpoena to a private business to gather evidence for his defense to potential criminal charges.
In addition to the charges regarding violations of the state ethics act, Hughes was charged with conspiring to steal a pickup truck. That count of the indictment alleges Hughes and others agreed to steal the truck from a business located in Chambers County. They effectuated the plan by taking a Lee County search warrant into Chambers County and using it to force the business to release lawful possession of a 1985 Ford Ranger.
The indictment also charged Hughes with first-degree perjury for providing false testimony under oath to the special grand jury.
The Attorney General’s Office on Monday afternoon announced Hughes faced an additional charge to those announced earlier. Hughes’s arrest for perjury in Montgomery follows his indictment in Lee County, charging him with multiple counts of violating the State’s Ethics Act, conspiracy to commit theft of property, and perjury.
On November 9, Hughes, 46, a resident of Auburn, Alabama, was booked in Montgomery County based on a complaint filed by the Attorney General’s Office, charging him with first-degree perjury for allegedly giving false testimony to the Alabama Ethics Commission.
The five violations of the state ethics act charged in the indictment are Class B felonies, each punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $30,000.
The charges of conspiracy to commit first-degree theft and first-degree perjury are Class C felonies, each punishable by one year and one day to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Chief Deputy Attorney General Clark Morris, with Assistant Attorney General Jasper Roberts of the Special Prosecutions Division. The Attorney General recused himself from this matter, due to his previous service alongside Hughes in the Alabama District Attorneys Association.
No further information about the investigation or about Hughes’s alleged crimes is being released at this time by the AG’s office.
While he is under indictment, Hughes will be suspended as the district attorney. An acting district attorney will be appointed while the case involving Hughes is active.