Ex Alabama district attorney headed to prison for using public money to settle sex discrimination case

Published 9:40 pm Tuesday, November 9, 2021

A former prosecutor in Alabama was sentenced Tuesday to at least 10 months in prison for violating the state’s ethics laws.

Retired Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Pamela Baschab sentenced former Lee County District Attorney Brandon Hughes for the ethics violation and committing perjury while in office. His defense asked that he serve a non-custodial sentence in a community corrections program, which was denied, WBRC-TV reported.

Hughes’ convictions stem from giving false information to a Lee County grand jury and using $14,000 from his office’s official budget to litigate a settlement in a sex discrimination claim filed against him by a female prosecutor who worked for his office. He’s now obligated to repay that money.

Hughes abruptly entered a plea agreement in this case on the second day of his trial held in June. He faced five ethics violations, perjury and conspiracy to commit theft.

Testimony during the trial described Hughes’ office as a frat house where employees drank alcohol on site and played video game consoles, pointing to an abuse of trust and taxpayer dollars. The defense said those actions weren’t illegal and didn’t hurt Hughes’ job performance.

Hughes must turn himself in by 3 p.m. on Thursday.