- Associated Press - Thursday, March 6, 2014

FORT PAYNE, Ala. (AP) - An indicted former state senator accused of making improper payments to a campaign aide has filed court papers citing the attorney general’s payments to a campaign staffer.

Former Democratic Sen. Lowell Barron filed the court papers in Fort Payne in advance of a court hearing Friday.

The papers stem from Attorney General Luther Strange fighting Barron’s subpoena for him to testify at Barron’s trial next month. Strange contends there is no compelling need for his testimony.

Barron’s court papers Thursday cited $354,548 in payments that Strange made to campaign aide Jessica Garrison or companies affiliated with her after his unsuccessful race for lieutenant governor in 2006 race and before and after his successful run for attorney general in 2010.

The attorney general’s office got an indictment last year accusing Barron and former aide Rhonda Jill Johnson of improperly diverting $58,000 in campaign funds and a campaign car to her use and to other non-campaign uses in the 2010 election.

In citing the attorney general’s campaign expenses, Barron’s attorney, Joe Espy, said, “Strange has personal knowledge of facts which may be admissible depending on the position of the prosecutors in this case.”

Strange’s office did not have any immediate comment.

Barron, a businessman from Fyffe, served in the Legislature from 1982 to 2010 and held leadership positions including Senate president pro tem and Senate Rules Committee chairman.

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