- Associated Press - Thursday, May 1, 2014

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Lawyers for a legislator accused of perjury have asked for a speedy hearing on a request to dismiss the charges, citing the upcoming election.

Lawyers for Rep. Barry Moore, R-Enterprise, filed the motion Thursday seeking the expedited hearing. Moore was arrested last month on four felony counts of perjury and making false statements to law enforcement officers.

“Timing of issuance of the indictment achieves interference with fairness and freedom from undue and improper influence in the electoral process in Coffee County, where the primary election will be held on June 3, 2014,” defense lawyer Bill Baxley wrote.

The charges stem from Moore’s appearance in January before a special grand jury convened by the attorney general’s office.

Prosecutors accused Moore of answering questions falsely when Deputy Attorney General Matt Hart asked if he had told his primary opponent that Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard had threatened to hold up money for a local economic development project if he ran against Moore.

“OK, and you didn’t assert to him that the speaker had, in fact made that threat?” Hart asked Moore, according to the indictment.

“No sir,” Moore replied.

Moore’s primary opponent, Josh Pipkin, had recorded a telephone conversation with Moore. Pipkin previously told The Associated Press that he had testified before a grand jury.

Baxley, in the motion, said Pipkin illegally recorded the discussion “for the express purpose of achieving interference” in the upcoming election.

Alabama law allows one person to record a conversation without the other person’s knowledge.

However, Baxley is arguing that Moore was in Florida at the time. Florida law requires both parties in a conversation to consent to recording. Baxley argued that protection should apply since Moore was in Florida.

Baron Coleman, a representative of Pipkin’s campaign, disputed Baxley’s interpretation. Coleman said he would not comment on the pending case, but said, “Barry Moore has engaged in a pattern of dishonesty and deception.”

A spokeswoman for the attorney general’s office said the office would be filing a response in court.

Baxley filed a motion Wednesday seeking to dismiss the charges against Moore. Baxley said Moore’s testimony before the grand jury was materially honest and that prosecutors’ questions to him were compound and vague. Baxley also argued that there were multiple problems with the indictment including that Hart and Acting Attorney General Van Davis did not specify what prosecutorial office they were representing.

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange appointed Davis to lead the investigation after he stepped aside.

Copyright © 2017 The Washington Times, LLC.

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