Longtime Alabama lawmaker, Decatur-Republican State Rep. Micky Ray Hammon, pleaded guilty on felony charges Monday to devising a scheme to commit mail fraud involving his campaign funds. United States Attorney Louis V. Franklin Sr. confirmed the news Tuesday morning.
As a result of pleading guilty to a felony, Hammon was automatically removed from his House seat. Governor Kay Ivey has yet to set a date for a special election to replace him.
According to court documents, Hammon, who has represented the 4th district in the Alabama House since 2002 and served as the House of Representative’s majority leader until earlier this year, used campaign money to pay his own personal expenses as part of the scheme.
In 2013, he created a principal campaign committee through the Secretary of States Office allowing him to raise funds for his reelection campaign. He was writing checks from his campaign committee account and then depositing them into his personal account. He later used the funds to pay for personal expenses, which is strictly prohibited by Alabama campaign finance rules.
“Self-dealing by elected officials erodes society’s confidence in its governmental institutions,” said Franklin Sr. “Self-dealing is precisely what occurred here. Those who donated to Representative Hammon’s campaign expected that the campaign would use those resources lawfully and to foster an informative public debate. Instead, Representative Hammon placed those funds into his own personal piggy bank.
“I am proud of my office’s efforts to root out this corruption and I am most grateful for the tireless work of the United States Postal Inspection Service, which investigated this case. I hope that this prosecution will, in some small way, restore Alabamians’ trust in their state legislature.”
United States District Attorney Myron H. Thompson will sentence Hammon in the months ahead. He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years.