- Associated Press - Monday, October 27, 2014

OPELIKA, Ala. (AP) - A prosecutor told jurors Monday that Republican Rep. Barry Moore lied repeatedly when he testified to a grand jury investigating Republican House Speaker Mike Hubbard.

A defense attorney for Moore said his testimony is being taken out of context and they should listen to the full grand jury testimony.

“It will prove beyond any shadow of a doubt that what he told the grand jury was true,” Bill Baxley said.

A jury of seven men and seven women, including two alternates, was selected for the trial, which attorneys expect to conclude this week.

Moore faces two counts of perjury and two counts of making false statements. Prosecutor Mike Duffy said Moore testified that he never told his primary opponent, Josh Pipkin, that Hubbard had threatened to hold up economic development funds if Pipkin stayed in the race.

“He was lying,” Duffy said.

Pipkin recorded the conversation and provided it to investigators. He will be a key witness in the trial.

The first witness Monday, Jonathan Tullos, executive director of the Wiregrass Economic Development Corp., said Moore called him in June 2013 about Pipkin’s plans to enter the Republican primary race against Moore. Tullos said Moore told him that “Speaker Hubbard is livid about it and he’s going to withhold funds in some form or fashion for it.”

He said Moore told him in another phone conversation, which Tullos recorded, that Enterprise could lose the economic development project if Pipkin didn’t pull out of the race like the speaker wanted. “This is not going to bode well for the community. It’s going to hurt us on the state level,” Moore said on the taped phone call.

Moore’s defense countered with phone records that showed Pipkin and Tullos talked and texted frequently in June 2013. “You plotted setting up this bogus claim,” Baxley told Tullos.

Tullos said he and Pipkin were friends and talked frequently about whether they should go to authorities with their concerns about whether they were being extorted.

Pipkin is scheduled to testify Tuesday.

He stayed in the House race and lost the June 3 Republican primary to Moore. The Legislature allocated money for the economic development project, but it has not been used. Tullos testified that the project, an expansion of Enterprise Electronics, is on hold while the company looks for financing.

The Lee County grand jury that charged Moore in April indicted Hubbard a week ago on 23 felony ethics charges. His trial date has not been set. He is not scheduled to testify in Moore’s trial, but the defense plans to use a statement that Hubbard gave investigators before being charged.

Moore’s trial is the first to result from the grand jury investigation conducted by the state attorney general’s office. It led to Republican Rep. Greg Wren of Montgomery resigning his office in April and pleading guilty to a misdemeanor ethics charge.

The trial is not taking Moore away from campaigning because he has no opposition in the general election Nov. 4.

If convicted, Moore faces one to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000 on each count.

Moore, 48, was elected to the Legislature in 2010 when Republicans took control of the House and Senate for the first time in 136 years and Hubbard became speaker. Moore defeated Democratic incumbent Terry Spicer of Elba. Spicer pleaded guilty in 2011 to taking a bribe while a legislator and was sentenced to nearly five years in prison.

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