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Audit: $22K misspent or missing from suspended Lee County DA’s office

Brandon Hughes
Brandon Hughes(Source: Montgomery County Detention Facility)
Updated: May. 14, 2021 at 4:38 PM CDT
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LEE COUNTY, Ala. (WSFA) - Legal issues continue to mount for suspended Lee County District Attorney Brandon Hughes, who is already facing charges for ethics violations, conspiracy to commit theft and perjury.

Now, the Alabama Department of Public Examiners is releasing results of a recent audit on the embattled DA’s office that covers a span from Sept. 2018 to Nov. 30, 2020. That end date runs to 20 days after the DA was automatically suspended due to criminal indictment.

The examiner’s report finds that more than $22,000 is either missing or has been misspent by the office.

Among the examiner’s findings:

  • The DA spent nearly $4,000 from office funds that were not allowed on food and meal purchases, rentable tent and tables for an event, and trophies us to show appreciation with various individuals, agencies or other organizations.
  • The DA made a $1,000 donation from office funds that were not allowed to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Lee County.
  • The DA spent $14,000 from office funds that were not allowed on legal fees
  • The DA and the DA’s office manager spent nearly $400 from office funds that were not allowed on items for the Back the Badge event. The office manager, who attended a show cause hearing, provided just cause and was relieved of having to pay all amounts due.
  • The DA and the DA’s office manager spent more than $2,200 from office funds that were not allowed on items including food and flowers. The office manager, who attended a show cause hearing, provided just cause and was relieved of having to pay all amounts due.
  • The DA and the DA’s office manager spent more than $750 from office funds that were not allowed on food for Christmas parties. The office manager, who attended a show cause hearing, provided just cause and was relieved of having to pay all amounts due.

Hughes did not meet with examiners as part of their audit’s show cause phase. His charge has been referred to Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall’s office.

He has pleaded not guilty to all criminal charges that he is currently facing and is set for trial sometime in June on the ethics charges he’s facing.

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