Indicted Alabama legislator seeks to bar call

Scales of justice and jail

OPELIKA, Ala. (AP) – An indicted Alabama legislator is asking a judge to keep prosecutors from using a recording of a phone call he had with his primary election opponent.

Attorneys for Republican Rep. Barry Moore of Enterprise filed court papers Thursday saying the recorded call can’t be used because Moore was in Florida and Josh Pipkin was in Alabama when Pipkin recorded the call. They say Florida law requires the consent of both parties to record a call and the call was recorded “surreptitiously and illegally” without Moore’s knowledge. Alabama law does not require the consent of both parties.

In the phone call, Moore says House Speaker Mike Hubbard is furious about Pipkin running and he makes other remarks about the race.

Moore was indicted by a Lee County grand jury in April. He faces perjury and false statement charges accusing him of lying about the call when he testified to the grand jury. He has pleaded not guilty.

If Circuit Judge Jacob Walker III rules for Moore, his attorneys say that would eliminate “an integral part of the State’s case.”

Moore defeated Pipkin in the June 3 primary. Moore’s trial is scheduled for Sept. 15 in Opelika, but that could be delayed by other issues in the case that Moore is trying to get an Alabama appeals court to review.

Court records show the grand jury was formed about a year ago to investigate Hubbard and possible corruption at the Alabama Statehouse. So far, it has brought down one legislator. Republican Rep. Greg Wren of Montgomery pleaded guilty in April to a misdemeanor ethics violation and resigned his position. District Judge Jimmy Pool gave Wren a 12-month suspended sentenced and ordered him to pay $24,000.

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