A former U.S. attorney is fighting back against statements Dothan businessman Jeff Coleman has made against him during Coleman’s campaign for the 2nd Congressional District seat.

Bill Nettles, who served as U.S. attorney for the District of South Carolina, said several statements Coleman made concerning a 2012 U.S. Department of Justice lawsuit against his company, Coleman Worldwide Moving, were false.

Nettles’ remarks were made at a Montgomery news conference hosted by one of Coleman’s primary opponents, former state Attorney General Troy King.

“Based on the investigation that was conducted by the U.S. Army, the investigation we conducted, and a separate investigation in Hawaii, the evidence was clear the Colemans were committing fraud and members of management were aware of the fraud,” Nettles said Friday afternoon.

Evidence of fraud was found at every Coleman Worldwide location that was investigated, Nettles said.

The lawyer said that as a former U.S. attorney, he oversaw the criminal prosecution and civil lawsuit against Coleman Worldwide. Numerous witnesses were interviewed.

One manager was prosecuted in South Carolina.

Toward the end of the conference, King said: “Don’t be fooled. Jeff Coleman will not drain the swamp. It made him rich.”

Candidate’s rebuttal

Coleman has repeatedly vehemently denied wrongdoing by the company. In a response Friday, he challenged his opponents to rise above the negativity and attacks.

“The people of this district deserve better,” he said. “They need to hear from these candidates on the issues. I feel very strongly about that.”

“I’m a businessman, not a politician,” he continued. “I am the outsider in the race, and I continue to talk about the issues and will continue to do so.”

In a statement, released two hours after the beginning of King’s news conference, Coleman’s campaign committee slammed King’s alliance with the self-proclaimed Democratic lawyer.

“Today, instead of talking about the issues that matter to Alabama’s 2nd Congressional District, the attacks, political ploys and mudslinging continued against Jeff Coleman, a lifelong Republican, a conservative businessman, a husband, a father, and a godly man of faith,” campaign manager Dalton Dismukes said.

“Entrenched and disgruntled career politician Troy King stood side by side with an Obama-appointed, Trump-hating, radical, left-wing Democratic donor whose crusade against an honest Wiregrass business fell flat,” Dismukes added. “I would hope our fellow primary candidates would join me in condemning partnering with a radical Democrat for political gain within a Republican primary and rise above the lies, manipulation and deceit. The people of Alabama’s 2nd Congressional District deserve better than this.”

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