LEE COUNTY, Ala. (WRBL) – Lee County District Attorney Brandon Hughes is responding publicly to an ethics complaint with the Alabama Ethics Commission. The claim is now being forwarded to the Alabama Attorney General’s Office for review.
District Attorney Brandon Hughes shared this statement with News 3:
“Several months ago, I self-reported a possible ethics issue to the Alabama Ethics Commission. I reached out to them to explain what was going on and to ask them if, in fact, what I was doing constituted a breach of any ethical standard. They said they could not advise me, so, out of an abundance of caution, I ended the action; I was later notified the Commission was conducting a review. I cooperated fully and transparently, voluntarily answering every question asked, as well as providing all documentation requested. I want to be clear that I have never, not once, knowingly violated any ethical standard in my 18 years as a prosecutor. I have always put doing what is right above all else in my career. I also want people to understand this has nothing to do with any case I or my office has prosecuted. This was a mistake made out of a lack of knowledge and education and the fact that I self-reported underscores my commitment to doing things the right way. Please know that I will continue to speak out and fight for the citizens of Lee County in order to keep our community safe.”
The Alabama Ethics Commission met on April 1, 2020. According to a summary of the meeting published for the public on the Commission’s website, the group went into executive session, then emerged and voted on several cases in open session. The case involving Hughes is labeled as case number 2019-190. The document shows the Alabama Ethics Commission voted to refer the inquiry involving Brandon Hughes to the Attorney General. Vice-chair Beverlye Brady, an attorney from Auburn and Chair Charles Price of Montgomery, abstained from the vote.
Thursday, News 3 reached out to the Alabama Ethics Commission for further comment.
“I’m unable to comment beyond saying that the commission found probable cause to believe he committed a violation of the ethics act and we referred the matter to the Attorney General for further review and investigation,” shared Thomas Albritton, Executive Director of The Alabama Ethics Commission.
Hughes began serving as Lee County’s District Attorney in January of 2017 after winning the election against incumbent Robbie Treese.
News 3 reached out to the Alabama Attorney General’s Office, who declined to comment at this time. We have also reached out to the Alabama Ethics Commission to see if they will say anything. We are still waiting to hear back.