AL Rep. Barry Moore of Enterprise arrested on felony charges
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The Alabama Attorney General's Office has confirmed the arrest of an Alabama legislator on charges of felony perjury and providing false statements.
Acting as Attorney General in this matter, W. Van Davis announced the arrest Thursday of Felix Barry Moore, a Republican representative from the 91st District in the Alabama House of Representatives.
Moore, 47, of Enterprise, surrendered Thursday to special agents of the Attorney General's Office at the Lee County Jail. His bond was set at $2,500.
Davis is a supernumerary district attorney who was appointed by Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange to handle matters regarding an ongoing investigation involving potential public corruption in Alabama.
Moore's indictment arises out of that matter. Davis and attorneys with the Special Prosecutions Division presented evidence to a Lee County special grand jury resulting in Moore's indictment. Specifically, the indictment charges Rep. Moore with:
[DOCUMENT: Barry Moore Indictment (.pdf)]
- Count one: providing false statements relating to any matter under investigation by the Attorney General;
- Count two: perjury in the first degree;
- Count three: providing false statements relating to any matter under investigation by the Attorney General; and
- Count four: perjury in the first degree;
According to the six-page indictment, Moore allegedly provided false statements relating to an economic development deal in the Wiregrass area and comments regarding his Republican primary opponent Josh Pipkin. The statements also involve Speaker of the Alabama House of Representatives Mike Hubbard, R-Auburn.
The indictment shows that two comments were made, which led to the four-count indictment on charges of perjury and providing false statements during an investigation conducted by the attorney general.
The first comment is a conversation that Moore had with Deputy Attorney General Matt Hart on Jan. 24. Moore was asked whether Hubbard threatened to impede economic incentives from the Enterprise area in order to keep Moore's primary opponent out of the race.
Moore told Hart that wasn't the case and added that Hubbard was attempting to get the deal done. Moore said the deal was "in the actual company's ball park" and continued to say that financial details were still getting sorted out.
He later told Hart that he "hadn't heard anything else," which according to the indictment was a false statement.
The other comments that led to the indictment are specifically related to Josh Pipkin, Moore's primary opponent.
Moore told investigators that he never told Pipkin that if he were to stay out of the race then the economic development project would remain on track.
Moore asserted the decision to run was purely up to Pipkin but added that he would continue to pursue the jobs deal.
He also denied saying to Pipkin that if he stayed out of the race he would tell Hubbard to not go through with his threat.
Hubbard's attorney released the following statement Thursday afternoon:
"We totally support Representative Moore being given the opportunity, guaranteed by the laws of the State of Alabama, to demonstrate his innocence and that he is the unfortunate victim of the abuse of power. We are confident that the citizens of Alabama will recognize and reject any misuse of the grand jury system to advance a political agenda or goal.
Speaker Hubbard wants nothing more than to ensure that the law is followed fairly and is free of political and personal influence. Speaker Hubbard has at all times cooperated with law enforcement authorities.
The primary purpose of a Grand Jury is to investigate and determine whether, after a fair and impartial investigation, anyone should be charged with a crime. The Grand Jury process is sacred and is supposed to be accomplished in total secrecy in order to protect the good name and reputation of those falsely accused. The Grand Jury is supposed to be an independent body devoid of outside influence and should not be dictated by politics, political or personal feuds, or individual personalities."
Alabama GOP Chairman Bill Armistead released the following statement:
"We believe the process will play itself out. Public officials should be held to a higher standard and this does reflect poorly on all public officials."
If convicted, Moore faces a maximum penalty of one to 10 years imprisonment and fines of up to $15,000 for each count of providing false statements and perjury, both of which are Class C Felonies.
"It is a serious crime to provide false statements to a grand jury," Davis said. "All citizens who testify before a grand jury must testify truthfully – even elected public officials. Any witness who makes a false statement in the matter under investigation by the Lee County Special Grand Jury will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, regardless of their political affiliation or position."
Moore was elected to the House in November 2010 and owns a waste hauling company in Coffee County under the name Barry Moore Industries.
SECOND LEGISLATOR ARRESTED IN MONTH
Moore is the second legislator arrested by the Alabama Attorney General's office in the past month in connection to an ongoing public corruption probe by the office.
On April 1, Republican representative Greg Wren of Montgomery agreed to resign and plead guilty to ethics violations.
As part of his plea agreement, Wren agreed to cooperate with any further investigation.
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