LEE COUNTY, Ala. (WRBL) – We hear new information about the indictment and subsequent arrest of Lee County’s Chief District Attorney, District Attorney Brandon Hughes.
Hughes answered and was admitted to the Lee County Justice Center around 5:00 a.m. late Sunday. We expect a statement from Hughes later on Monday.
The Alabama attorney general released a statement Monday morning with additional details on the charges against Hughes, the district attorney for the 37th Alabama District, on ethics, theft and perjury charges.
On November 6, Hughes, 46, of Auburn, Alabama, was indicted by a special grand jury in Lee County on charges of violating the state ethics law, conspiracy for first degree theft, and first degree perjury.
The statement said Hughes has been charged five counts of violating state ethics law for using his office for personal gain, including paying private attorneys with public funds to settle a matter affecting him and his wife benefited. Hughes was also charged with illegally hiring his three children to work for the Lee County Attorney’s Office. Eventually, Hughes was charged with illegally using his office’s authority for personal gain by issuing a district attorney subpoena to a private company to gather evidence to defend himself against potential criminal charges.
In addition to charges of violating state ethics law, Hughes was charged with conspiracy to steal a pickup truck. The indictment alleges that Hughes and others agreed to steal the truck from a Chambers County store and that they carried out the plan by instituting a search warrant of Lee County in Chambers County and forcing him to leave the company Forcing release of legal possession of a 1985 Ford Ranger.
The final count of the prosecution charged Hughes with first degree perjury for making false statements under oath to the special grand jury.
The five violations of the state ethics law charged in the indictment are Class B crimes, each punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $ 30,000.
The charge of conspiracy for first degree theft and perjury is a class C crime punishable by one year and one day up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $ 15,000.
The case is being pursued by Assistant Attorney General Clark Morris along with Assistant Attorney General Jasper Roberts of the Special Prosecutions Division. The attorney general has withdrawn from this matter because of his previous tenure alongside Hughes in the Alabama District Attorneys Association.
No further information about the investigation or Hughes’ alleged crimes is currently being released from the AG’s office.
Hughes is suspended as a district attorney while he is on trial. An acting district attorney will be appointed while the Hughes case is active.
Last April, Hughes told News 3 that he had never knowingly breached any ethical allegations.