From Trussville Tribune staff reports
JEFFERSON COUNTY — Newly elected district attorney for Jefferson County, Todd Henderson, has been booked into the Jefferson County jail on the charge of perjury. The indictment means Henderson will no be able to serve as the county’s district attorney regardless of the facts giving rise to that indictment, according to a statement released by Henderson’s attorney James Parkman today.
Henderson, who ran as a Democrat, has been seen as soft on crime by many. In an interview with WBHM 90.3FM, he openly stated his disappointment in, not only the county, but the state’s criminal justice system.
“What we’ve been doing hasn’t worked. I’ve been saying all along we need to do more on this side to get people the resources they need, and quit using prisons as a way to kinda brush the problem aside,” Henderson said in the interview. “The last several years we’ve been talking about the prison overcrowding. We’ve been talking about the fact that we’ve used prison as a way to deal with drug addiction and the mentally ill. This has led to mass incarceration. The state of Alabama leads the country in incarceration rates. The problem with that is that we are also number one in recidivism, which really means the department of corrections is not equipped to deal with the rehabilitative process.”
Henderson, who has already been sworn in, is set to take office at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday morning, but will face immediate suspension from his duties.
The statement from Parkman said the timing of the indictment is “strange”. Parkman also called on state Attorney General Luther Strange to, “do the right thing and bring this case to trial as quickly as possible.”
“At 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, seconds after Martin Luther King Jr. Day comes to an end, Mr. Henderson is set to begin work as Jefferson County’s new District Attorney. However, mere days before that should happen, the Attorney General’s Office convened a grand jury that returned an indictment thereby preventing Mr. Henderson from setting foot in office,” the statement read.
“The Attorney General’s Office in Montgomery seized the democratic process with this indictment,” according to Parkman’s statement. “They decided votes don’t matter. they decided to take democracy out of Jefferson County. It’s a perversion of the process that cannot and will not stand. The power of a few should not quell the will of the majority.”
The details of the charge are currently unavailable, but Parkman insists in the statement that the charges are “false”.
Henderson named Deputy Jefferson County District Attorney Danny Carr as chief deputy, and he would be the acting district attorney.