Alabama Republican state Rep. Will Dismukes, who recently rejected calls to resign after speaking at a birthday celebration for the KKK’s first grand wizard, was arrested Thursday on charges of felony theft.
Dismukes, a supporter of President Donald Trump and former Southern Baptist pastor, is accused of stealing “a lot more than” $2,500 from his former employer, Weiss Commercial Flooring, between 2016 and 2018, according to Montgomery County District Attorney Daryl Bailey.
The Washington Post reports: Wearing a T-shirt, shorts and a mesh baseball hat, Dismukes turned himself in on Thursday afternoon before bailing out of custody. His attorney, Trey Norman, disputed the charges and questioned why the business waited years to bring the complaint to police. “I don’t think any money was taken by anyone,” Norman told WSFA. “Second of all, if I worked for someone and they accused me of taking money, I wouldn’t expect four years to go by before anyone said anything to me.”
More from AL.com: If convicted of the crime, a felony, Dismukes would automatically be removed from office. … Dismukes resigned as pastor of Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Prattville after backlash resulting from a Facebook post highlighting his attendance at the birthday party for early KKK leader Nathan Bedford Forrest, who was grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan from 1867-69. Dismukes gave the invocation at the party held July 25 at Fort Dixie in Selma, an event that coincided with ceremonies honoring the late U.S. Rep. John Lewis, an Alabama native and longtime Georgia congressman who was a leader in the civil rights movement and was badly beaten at the “Bloody Sunday” march in Selma in 1965.
Dismukes, a first-term representative, launched a bid for Congress last year, saying he wanted to battle “socialists” and “communists” in Washington.
“I’ll go to Washington and do the exact same thing I did in the State House, and that is stand for the people that I serve, stand for the people through and through. And then, I’ll have the opportunity to stand with the president of the United States, Donald Trump,” Dismukes said.
He later dropped out of the congressional race, saying he couldn’t raise enough money.
Watch a news conference on the charges against Dismukes below.