published Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

Alabama ex-Sen. Lowell Barron indicted on ethics, campaign law violations

FORT PAYNE, Ala. — Surrounded by his family on the steps of the DeKalb County Courthouse, former state Sen. Lowell Barron, through his attorney, this afternoon emphatically denied charges of ethics law and campaign contribution law violations he was charged with earlier today.

“I have never seen a case like this,” attorney Joe Espy said, accusing federal and local prosecutors of “playing politics.”

The 71-year-old Barron, still wearing a neck brace after a 2012 tractor accident, was arrested on six counts after a DeKalb County grand jury indictment, Sheriff Jimmy Harris said in a statement.

The case was presented to a DeKalb County grand jury by the Alabama attorney general’s office.

Barron turned himself in and was released on bonds totaling $10,000, according to the statement.

Also, the DeKalb County Sheriff's Office said that Barron’s former assistant, Rhonda Jill Johnson, was arrested. She was taken to the DeKalb County Detention Center, where she awaits a $10,000 bond, a release said.

Barron, a Democrat, served Alabama’s 8th District, which includes Jackson County and parts of DeKalb and Madison counties, from 1983 until 2010. He was president pro tem of the Senate for two terms, and was defeated in November 2010 by Republican Shadrick McGill.

For complete details, see tomorrow’s Chattanooga Times Free Press.

about Joy Lukachick Smith...

Joy Lukachick Smith is the city government reporter for the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Since 2009, she's covered crime and court systems in North Georgia and rural Tennessee, landed an exclusive in-prison interview with a former cop convicted of killing his wife, exposed impropriety in an FBI-led, child-sex online sting and exposed corruption in government agencies. Earlier this year, Smith won the Malcolm Law Memorial Award for Investigative Reporting. She also won first place in ...

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