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Moore’s Attorney Says Ethics Law “Contrary to US Constitution,” Asks For Case’s Dismissal

By Lee Hedgepeth
Alabama Political Reporter

Representative Barry Moore, (R-Enterprise), has filed a motion through his attorney Bill Baxley to have the criminal charges against him – all Class C Felonies – dismissed.

The motion, which was filed in the Lee County Circuit Court, is a mostly rhetorical attack leveled at the Attorney General’s Office, particularly Matt Hart, Chief Prosecutor of the Special Prosecutions Division, and W. Van Davis, the acting Attorney General in the case.

The first fourteen points made in the brief all begin “The indictment, particularly counts two and four,” and then meander to lay out various allegations about the legality of the charges.

The continuations of the above statement include claims such as the following:

“The indictment… is unlawfully vague,” it says. The indictment is too short?

“The indictment… is prolix and repetitious,” it continues. The indictment is too wordy?

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“The indictment… does not state the facts constituting the alleged offense in ordinary and concise language,” it says. Can Moore’s attorneys not understand the “legalese?”

The motion also claims that Matt Hart and Miles Davis have no jurisdiction to charge Moore, given they authorized the indictment without noting they work out of the the Attorney General’s Office, as error Baxley says was made by Hart and Davis not mentioning this in their titles under their affixed signatures, which read “Acting Attorney General” and “Chief, Special Prosecutions Division.”

From the motion: “For aught appearing, W. Van Davis could be acting attorney general of Timbuktu, having no authority to sign the instant indictment or to appear before the Grand Jury of Lee County. For aught appearing, Miles M. Hart could be the ‘Chief’ of the ‘Special Prosecutions Division’ for the City of Baghdad, Iraq and therefore have no authority to sign the instant indictment or to appear before the Grand Jury of Lee County.”

The motion filed on Moore’s behalf also goes to great lengths to point out his position that the ethics law under which he is being charged is unconstitutional. Oddly enough, though, Representative Moore voted for the exact ethics legislation now being used to bring him to justice.

“Section 36-16-62.1, Code of Alabama, is overly broad. The allegations of count one are overly broad. The allegations of count two are overly broad,” it states.

“Section 36-16.62.1, Code of Alabama, is contrary to the Constitution of the United States of America and the Constitution of the State of Alabama. Section 36-16-62.1, Code of Alabama, as applied in these circumstances to Felix Barry Moore, is contrary to the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of Alabama. Section 36-16-62.1, Code of Alabama, is unconstitutional in its application,” the motion reads, challenging the constitutionality – both facially and as-applied – of the 2011 ethics law for which Rep. Moore himself voted in State House.

Finally, perhaps furthering the argument that Hart and Davis have no authority to prosecute the case, Moore’s attorneys claim that the entire Lee County Grand Jury had been “improperly constituted,” and therefore “must be dismissed.”

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According to a prominent Montgomery attorney who looked over the motion has told Alabama Political Reporter that the claims are mainly just a wide shot across the bow of the prosecution, less aimed at actually being successful than at making a rhetorical flourish, and what a rhetorical flourish is is – from Baghdad, Iraq, all the way to Timbuktu.

A full copy of the motion can be found here.

Lee Hedgepeth
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