U.S. Senate candidate and former Alabama chief justice Roy Moore is facing additional scrutiny over personal compensation from the legal charity he founded.
Property records show the Foundation for Moral Law gave Moore a nearly $400,000 promissory note and mortgage on the group’s historic building in downtown Montgomery. The board of the foundation says the arrangement was to make up for unpaid salary promised to Moore as the organization’s president. That financial stake in the building was later boosted twice and now sits at $540,000.
Moore defended the stake in talks with the Associated Press, saying the foundation’s board had agreed to pay him an amount equal to his salary as chief justice, $180,000 per year. But he says the charity couldn’t raise the money and offered him the interest in the building instead.
Circuit judge and foundation board chairman John Bentley says the promissory note is worthless until the first mortgage on the historic building is paid off, and the group still owes money on the building.
Moore’s opponent in the Senate race, former U.S. Attorney Doug Jones, issued a statement criticizing the arrangement, saying “Once again, we see that Roy Moore has put his own interests ahead of the people of Alabama. This time, Moore misled the public and charitable donors by arranging a secret deal where he pocketed more than $1 million from his charity for part-time work.”
The general election for the U.S. Senate race between Roy Moore and Doug Jones will be held December 12.