By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
A federal Court sentenced former House Majority Leader Micky Ray Hammon, R-Decatur, to three months in prison for committing mail fraud Thursday.
U.S. Attorney Louis V. Franklin Sr. announced the sentence. Hammon served in the Alabama House of Representatives from 2003 until 2017, representing Alabama’s 4th District.
Hammon will also be subject to three years of supervised release upon completion of his prison sentence.
On Sept. 26, 2017, Hammon pleaded guilty to using money donated to his 2014 re-election campaign to pay personal expenses. This is a violation of Alabama law, which strictly limits the ways that donated money can be used. Hammon used the United States Postal Service to commit his offense when he received campaign donation checks through the mail, making this a federal offense.
Prosecutors said that all of the donors reasonably expected that the campaign would use money for legal purposes.
“The victims of Hammon’s offense were not only the donors to his campaign, but all Alabama voters,” Franklin said. “All voters trust that elected officials will serve honorably, not line their own pockets. Hammon violated that trust. I would like to thank the United States Postal Inspection Service for the excellent work that led to this prosecution. My office will continue to hold our elected officials accountable.”
“This sentencing sends out the clear message that nobody is above the law when it comes to the sanctity of the U.S. Mail,” said U.S. Postal Inspector-in-Charge Adrian Gonzalez, Houston Division. “Postal Inspectors steadfastly work to defend the nation’s mail system from fraud in hopes of bringing anyone to justice that uses the U.S. Postal Service in violating the trust of the American public.”
Hammon was elected majority leader by the Alabama Republican House Caucus at the same time that they elected Rep. Mike Hubbard, R-Auburn, as speaker of the house. In June 2016, Hubbard was found guilty of 12 counts of felony ethics violations. Hubbard is still out on appeal.
While the House GOP Caucus stayed incredibly loyal to Hubbard all the way until the moment that a jury of his Lee County peers found him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, the Caucus replaced Hammon once rumors surfaced of a federal investigation during the 2017 Regular Session.
Rep. Nathaniel Ledbetter, R-Rainsville, is the current majority leader. State Rep. Oliver Robinson, D-Birmingham, pleaded guilty to bribery, corruption and fraud charges in a separate investigation in 2016.
An Alabama attorney general’s investigation into campaign finances is currently underway; some legislators have admitted to being subpoenaed, but no indictments have been announced yet.
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey called a special election to replace Hammon in House District 4, but that special general election will not occur until May, so Hammon’s seat remains unfilled.
The United States Postal Inspection Service investigated the case. Assistant United States Attorney Jonathan S. Ross prosecuted the case.