By Lee Hedgepeth
Alabama Political Reporter
OPELIKA – At the end of last week, attorneys for indicted Representative Barry Moore, R-Enterprise, filed their second motion in as many weeks asking the Lee County Circuit Court to dismiss the felony criminal charges against him, this time on grounds that the recording on which the charges are indirectly based is an “illegal wiretap.”
Representative Moore was indicted late last month on four felony charges – two counts of perjury and two counts of misleading an investigator – after he claimed in a law enforcement interview that he did not relay any threats on behalf of Speaker Hubbard, in particular to Moore’s GOP primary opponent, Joshua Pipkin.
The phone call investigators were most likely basing their line of questioning on was recorded by Pipkin and released by various news sources, including the Alabama Political Reporter. In it, Rep. Moore clearly expresses to Pipkin that the Speaker would prevent a hundred economic incentive jobs from coming to Coffee County, and that Hubbard would rain “holy hell” on Pipkin.
Moore denies relaying any threats on behalf of Hubbard. Hubbard also released a statement indicating his belief the Grand Jury is the result of an attack by “special interests.”
According to Moore’s attorneys, which include former Democratic Lt. Gov. Bill Baxley, the recording may be illegal because the Representative was in Florida at the time. Florida, unlike Alabama, requires that both parties know a conversation is being recorded. Attorneys affiliated with the Pipkin campaign, however, say that only Alabama law would apply in the situation, making the audio tape legal. Moore claims otherwise.
“Defendant is a candidate for re-election in the… primary election,” the motion filed by Moore’s attorneys’ says.
“Defendant’s opponent conducted an illegal wiretap for the express purpose of achieving interference with fairness and freedom from undue and improper influence in the electoral process in Coffee County.”
Moore’s attorneys’ last motion was a dramatic shot across the bow of the prosecution, making various broad, rhetorical assertions, including that the Lee County Grand Jury was improperly convened and that the ethics law charges are brought under – a law Moore voted for – is unconstitutional.
Documents in the case have revealed that the Lee County Grand Jury will reconvene next week, May 13-16.
The Lee County Circuit Court judge presiding over the case has ordered that a hearing regarding the defense’s two motions be held on May 20, which is Tuesday of the following week.