Lee County District Attorney Brandon Hughes reported himself to the Alabama Ethics Commission after possibly violating an ethical standard, and the issue is now being reviewed by Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall.
Hughes said he reported the possible ethics issue several months ago to the commission.
"I reached out to them to explain what was going on and to ask them if, in fact, what I was doing constituted a breach of any ethical standard," Hughes said.
Hughes said the ethics commission told him they could not advise him. He then ended his action "out of an abundance of caution," according to an email statement from Hughes.
Hughes never clarified or explained what the "action" was that potentially caused him to breach an ethics issue.
"I cooperated fully and transparently, voluntarily answering every question asked, as well as providing all documentation requested," Hughes said. "I want to be clear that I have never, not once, knowingly violated any ethical standard in my 18 years as a prosecutor."
But it's possible he may have unknowingly violated an ethics issue.
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Thomas Albritton, executive director of the Alabama Ethics Commission, said they found cause to believe that Hughes violated an ethics law.
"All that I am able to tell you about that is that the Commission at its April 1 meeting found cause to believe that he had committed a violation of the ethics laws and referred that matter to the Attorney General for further review," Albritton said in an email.
Hughes said the possible issue at hand has nothing to do with any case he or his office has prosecuted.
"I have always put doing what is right above all else in my career," Hughes said. "This was a mistake made out of a lack of knowledge and education, and the fact that I self-reported underscores my commitment to doing things the right way."
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