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Alabama AG Opinion: Campaign Funds Can Pay Lawyers

Montgomery, AL – A 10-year-old attorney general's opinion indicates the four state senators indicted in a gambling investigation can use their campaign funds to pay their legal bills.

The opinion says an incumbent can use excess campaign funds to pay legal fees related to the defense of a criminal indictment if the indictment is related to an officeholder's duties. The opinion was issued by Bill Pryor, when he was attorney general.

One of the senators, Jim Preuitt, is not seeking re-election. The other three, Harri Anne Smith, Larry Means and Quinton Ross, are seeking re-election Nov. 2. A spokesman for Attorney General Troy King said that no one has asked for an opinion on whether campaign money can be used for lawyers after leaving office.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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