Attorney General candidate Mike Hurst claims incumbent AG Jim Hood’s office “actively interfered” in an investigation into a corrupt police chief Hurst prosecuted when he was an assistant U.S. attorney.

Hood’s campaign countered that the allegations are “a complete lie” and said Republican Hurst’s campaign is desperate.

At a press conference on Thursday, Simpson County Sheriff Ken Lewis, who said he first uncovered then-Mendenhall Police Chief Donald “Bruce” Barlow’s corruption, backed Hurst’s story. He said that when he first discovered Barlow was extorting people pulled over in traffic stops, he notified the AG’s office.

Lewis said that after he contacted the AG’s office – he doesn’t remember the investigator he talked with – Barlow told him he knew about the investigation and that Lewis better watch out because Barlow had “friends in high places.”

Lewis said he was the only one in his office working or aware of the early investigation, so he believes someone at the AG’s office tipped off Barlow. Hurst said Barlow then “began a cover-up scheme to create and backdate paperwork in an attempt to hide his wrongdoing.”

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