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

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

April 23rd, 2013 by Joy Lukachick Smith in Local - Breaking News

Former Alabama state Sen. Lowell Barron

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

Rhonda Jill Johnson

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

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.