A Lee County special grand jury indicted Lee County District Attorney Brandon Hughes on ethics, theft and perjury charges last Friday, the Alabama Attorney General's Office announced on Monday.
The grand jury charged Hughes, who has served as the district attorney for the 37th Judicial Circuit Court since January 2017, with violating the state ethics act, conspiracy to commit first-degree theft, and with first-degree perjury.
The Attorney General's Office also announced Monday an additional charge for perjury in Montgomery County.
The indictment charges Hughes with five ethics count violations, including hiring his three children to work at the Lee County District Attorney's Office; paying private attorneys with public funds to settle a matter that benefited him and his wife; and also issuing a district attorney's subpoena to collect evidence from a private business to help with his defense of potential criminal charges.
Hughes also allegedly conspired to steal a pickup truck from a Chambers County business.
"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," according to the Attorney General's Office's description of the count in the release.
Hughes was also charged with first-degree perjury for allegedly providing false testimony under oath to the special grand jury.
That count and the first-degree theft charge are Class C felonies, punishable by one year and one day to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000. The five ethics charges are Class B felonies, and carry a possible sentence of two to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $30,000 for each count.
Hughes was charged with an additional count of first-degree perjury for giving false testimony to the Alabama Ethics Commission, according to the Attorney General's Office.
Hughes took over as the Lee County district attorney after serving with the Alabama District Attorneys Association from 2006 to 2014. Alabama District Attorney Steve Marshall has recused himself from the case because of his work with Hughes at ADDA. In his place, Assistant Chief Deputy Attorney General Clark Morris, with Assistant Attorney General Jasper Roberts, will prosecute the Hughes case.