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Former Alabama district attorney seeks to avoid prison

September 14, 2021 GMT

OPELIKA, Ala. (AP) — A former district attorney is asking a judge to keep him out of prison and allow him to serve his 10-month prison sentence on perjury and ethics charges in a community corrections program.

Attorneys for former Lee County District Attorney Brandon Hughes last week filed a motion seeking a placement in a community corrections program, arguing that is a more appropriate setting for Hughes and would would allow him to support his family.

The Alabama attorney general’s office is opposing the request, saying that would be insufficient punishment for the former public official.

Hughes in June pleaded guilty to perjury and using his public office for personal gain. Hughes had been accused of giving false statements to a grand jury and using $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.

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A judge last month said Hughes could remain free on bond until the resolution of his application for community corrections. The judge has scheduled a Sept. 18 hearing on the request.

“Mr. Hughes has not been convicted of a violent crime nor does he have a criminal history. Therefore, Mr. Hughes does not pose a threat to the community in any form,” his attorney wrote in a motion seeking a placement in community corrections.

Prosecutors from the Alabama attorney general’s office are opposing the request, likening it to a decision to, “hang the petty thief while the corrupt public figure serves probation.”

Prosecutors said a community corrections program would be little more than probation and allow Hughes to sleep at his home at night.

“A CCP sentence, on the other hand, would be wholly inappropriate for the top prosecutor in Lee County who used his office for personal gain and lied to the grand jury about it,” prosecutors wrote.