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November 9, 2020

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The Alabama Attorney General’s Office Announces the Indictment of Lee County District Attorney Brandon Hughes on Ethics, Theft, and Perjury Charges

(MONTGOMERY) – The Alabama Attorney General’s Office on Monday morning
announced the indictment of Brandon M. Hughes, the district attorney for the 37th Judicial Circuit of Alabama, on ethics, theft, and perjury charges.

On November 6, Hughes, 46, a resident of Auburn, Alabama, was indicted by a Lee County special grand jury, which charged him with violating the state ethics act, conspiracy to commit first-degree theft, and first-degree perjury.

Hughes was indicted on five counts of violating the state ethics act for using his office for personal gain, including paying private attorneys with public funds to settle a matter that benefited himself and his wife. Hughes was also charged with the illegal hiring of his three children to work for the Lee County District Attorney’s Office. Finally, Hughes was 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 that Hughes and others agreed to steal the truck from a business located in Chambers County, and that 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 final count of the indictment charged Hughes with first-degree perjury for providing false testimony under oath to the special grand jury.

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 may be released at this time.

*Both an indictment and a complaint are merely accusations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.