Court rejects claim perjury charge against Judge Self is unclear

FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) — A virtual hearing was held Tuesday for a North Alabama judge facing multiple criminal charges.

Lauderdale County Circuit Judge Gil Self is charged with 16 counts of using his office for personal gain and a related perjury charge and making a false representation to the auditor’s charge.

Voters hit the polls to vote on Alabama House District 27 seat

Tuesday’s court hearing was centered around the perjury charge. Self’s lawyers argued the indictment failed to clearly describe what he did wrong and asked for a “more definite statement.” The defense asked prosecutors from the Alabama Attorney General’s Office to provide what part of his testimony was false, who gave the approval for the hiring, and how his conduct violated the law.

Prosecutors say that was all spelled out to the defense in the charges and evidence it turned over to Self’s lawyers.

Prosecutors say Self hired his son for a $50,000 law library job, without proper permission. Prosecutors say Self told a grand jury he had spoken to a library board member about the job, but they say he later told investigators he didn’t know if the library board was aware of the payments to his son.

While no trial date has been set for Self, Judge Tim Jolley moved quickly today. He denied Self’s claims. The judge’s order said he found prosecutors did provide the defense with details of the charge and that the charge is clear enough to present at trial.

Where to find shelter from severe storms in the Tennessee Valley

Most of the allegations are focused on how prosecutors say Self spent money from two court funds he supervised as presiding judge from April 2020 to February 2023, including for trips and personal items.

Following his indictment Self issued a statement:

“From the first time the auditors brought these issues to my attention, I have acknowledged honest but correctable mistakes were made in the two bank accounts I administered as Presiding Judge. These mistakes happened over a period of time when our court system was under immense pressure due to the pandemic and being understaffed and overloaded. At no time did I intend to violate any law. Lauderdale County is not out any money and all of the money in question is in those accounts.

Nothing can change the mistakes I made and my embarrassment and regret are painful realities. Thankfully my wife, sons, family, friends, and church have been steadfast in their support. I look forward to having the citizens of our community review what happened and consider the unprecedented circumstances surrounding many of these events.”

Judge Self has only been indicted, not convicted. He is not allowed to serve as a judge while under indictment, according to state law, but he still holds his position and he’s still receiving his salary every two weeks. State records show he’s been paid $29,000 overall, since his indictment in late January.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to