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Suspended Lee Co. District Attorney removed from office

Brandon Hughes was automatically removed from office after pleading guilty to felony counts
(Pool Feed)
Published: Jun. 24, 2021 at 5:39 PM EDT
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OPELIKA, Ala. (WBRC) - Suspended Lee County District Attorney Brandon Hughes was automatically removed from office after pleading guilty to felony counts Thursday.

Hughes is now convicted of an ethics violation for using his office for personal gain and perjury.

Hughes’ plea is unexpected. After the state called its fourth witness Thursday, court recessed until 4:00 p.m. When attorneys returned to the courtroom, Judge Pamela Baschab took Hughes’ guilty plea.

Suspended District Attorney Brandon Hughes in court
Suspended District Attorney Brandon Hughes in court(WSFA)

Hughes pleaded guilty to using his public position for personal gain after spending $14,000 dollars from the District Attorneys Fund to litigate a settlement involving a sex discrimination claim filed against him by a former prosecutor in his office. Hughes is now convicted of first degree perjury for giving false statements to the Lee County Grand Jury in 2020.

The state proposes Hughes serve a three year sentence, split to serve ten months in the county jail. He’s also obligated to replay the $14,000 dollars as part of restitution. Hughes will be formally sentenced at a later date.

The plea agreement drops four other ethics counts and conspiracy to commit theft.

The case was prosecuted by the Alabama Attorney General’s Special Prosecutions Division, which specializes in ethics violations and public corruption. The Alabama Supreme Court appointed retired Colbert County Judge Pamela Baschab to preside over the case.

Hughes was suspended from office following the indictment, which is a statutory requirement.

Prior to Hughes’ suspension, he was directly involved in the prosecution of Ibraheem Yazeed, charged with kidnapping and capital murder in connection to the death of Homewood teen Aniah Blanchard. In December of 2019, Hughes announced his office was seeking the death penalty in this case.

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