Special Lee County grand jury meets next week

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OPELIKA, Ala. (AP) - A special Lee County grand jury that has been investigating possible government corruption will meet again next week.

The state attorney general’s office filed court papers saying the grand jury will be in session May 13-16.

The court papers were filed in the case of Republican state Rep. Barry Moore of Enterprise. He turned himself in April 24 in Opelika to face charges of perjury and giving false statements to law enforcement. The charges involved his testimony to the grand jury that has been meeting periodically in Opelika.

Moore contends the charges are designed to undermine the Republican primary election June 3, where he faces opposition, and he has asked Lee County Circuit Judge Jacob Walker III to dismiss them. Matt Hart, chief of the attorney general’s special prosecutions division, gave the judge notice of the grand jury meeting dates and requested a hearing on the motion to dismiss be scheduled after that. In an order signed Friday, the judge set the hearing for May 20.

Moore is being represented by Bill Baxley, a former attorney general, lieutenant governor and two-time Democratic candidate for governor.

The Lee County grand jury has been meeting periodically since August 2013.

Moore is the second legislator to face charges resulting from the grand jury investigation. Earlier in the month, Republican state Rep. Greg Wren of Montgomery pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor ethics charge and agreed to cooperate with state investigators.

House Speaker Mike Hubbard, R-Auburn, has been supportive of Moore. Last week, Hubbard’s Storming the State House Political Action Committee filed a campaign finance report showing it gave Moore’s campaign $10,000 on April 23 and $15,000 on April 28, which was after the charges were filed. Hubbard has called Moore “the unfortunate victim of the abuse of power” and said the PAC supports Moore because he is a conservative, pro-business candidate.

In Moore’s latest campaign finance, he reported getting $12,765 in in-kind contributions of advertising from former Gov. Bob Riley’s Alabama 2014 PAC. All of it was dated before Moore’s arrest.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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