By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY—Earlier today, the Alabama Supreme Court handed down a unanimous decision against Attorney General Luther Strange on his appeal, in the campaign finance violations case against former Alabama Senate Pro Tem Lowell Barron.
In April, DeKalb County Circuit Court Judge Randall Cole, ruled in that the Attorney General would be unable to present evidence insinuating a romantic relationship between Barron and his former longtime campaign and legislative aide, Jill Johnson. The relationship, the AG’s office has previously conceded is “fatal” to their case against the former senator.
The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals also ruled against the Attorney General’s request to introduce the alleged romantic relationship.
In April 2013, Barron, as well Jill Johnson, were indicted by a DeKalb County Grand Jury on several campaign finance charges stemming from nearly $60,000 in campaign expenditures from Barron to Johnson, as well as the gifting of a 2007 Toyota for “campaign uses.”
Barron’s attorney, Joe Espy says that the Attorney General office should immediately dismiss its case against Barron.
Statement by Lowell Barron regarding today’s unanimous ruling by the Alabama Supreme Court:
“We are very pleased with the unanimous ruling today by the Supreme Court. This matter has now gone through the entire appellate process, including two appellate courts which have both ruled unanimously in our favor. Based on the Attorney General’s own statements to the court that Judge Coles ‘Order will be fatal to the prosecution of these charges… ‘ and the appellate courts now upholding that ruling today, this case should now be concluded. I take the Attorney General as a man of his word and expect him to dismiss the case. I appreciate so much the kind words, thoughts and prayers I’ve received from so many all over the state.”
“If they do not dismiss, we are ready to file the appropriate motions to end this prosecution of my client,” said Espy.
The Attorney General’s Office did not respond to our request for comment.