Lawyer: State representative maintains innocence

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A lawyer representing a state legislator facing theft charges said he maintains his innocence and has no plans to resign from the Alabama Legislature.

Republican Rep. Will Dismukes of Prattville is accused of stealing thousands of dollars from the flooring company where he once worked. Dismukes turned himself in at the Montgomery County Jail Thursday evening after a warrant was issued for his arrest on a charge of first-degree theft.

“Will maintains his innocence,” attorney Trey Norman told the Montgomery Advertiser. “As far as I know he has not considered resigning, and I don’t think he should. He is innocent until proven guilty.”

Montgomery District Attorney Daryl Bailey said Thursday that the business made a complaint on May 20 “regarding an alleged theft of a large sum of money from their business from an employee” between 2016 and 2018.

House Speaker Mac McCutcheon said in a Friday statement that, “like all Americans, Rep. Dismukes is due the presumption of innocence.” He noted the alleged crime occurred before Dismukes was elected to the Alabama Legislature.

“As a former law enforcement officer, I have faith in the criminal justice process and trust that he will receive a full and fair hearing. Both Democrats and Republicans have been accused of similar crimes in the past, and we cannot tolerate such behavior whether the lawmaker involved has a D or an R beside their name,” McCutcheon said.

Dismukes was elected to the Alabama House of Representatives in 2018. The freshman lawmaker recently faced calls for his resignation after attending a celebration marking the birthday of a Confederate general who was an early Ku Klux Klan leader.