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Lee County prosecutor self-reports ethics issue; AG to review

OPELIKA, Ala. (AP) — Alabama’s attorney general’s office is investigating a state prosecutor who reported himself on an ethics issue.

Lee County District Attorney Brandon Hughes said he told the Alabama Ethics Commission about a possible ethics issue months ago.

“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,” Hughes told the Opelika-Auburn News.

He said that the commission did not respond regarding the matter so he stopped the action immediately. He said the commission later notified him that it was conducting a review. “I cooperated fully and transparently, voluntarily answering every question asked, as well as providing all documentation requested.”

Hughes didn’t provide details about the possible infraction, but said it has nothing to do with any case he or his staff 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,” he said. “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 state ethics committee voted April 1 to send Hughes’ case to state Attorney General Steve Marshall for further investigation and review, said Thomas B. Albritton, executive director of the Alabama Ethics Commission.

Marshall’s office has not yet issued an opinion.

Hughes denied doing anything wrong intentionally.

”I want to be clear that I have never, not once, knowingly violated any ethical standard in my 18 years as a prosecutor,” he said. “I have always put doing what is right above all else in my career.”

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