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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Luther Strange's Mistress Sought To Modify Custody In Order To Take Top AG Position In Montgomery


Jessica Garrison and Luther Strange
Jessica Medeiros Garrison tried to modify the custody agreement in her divorce case so she could take a job in Montgomery with Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange. When Garrison's ex husband objected to the relocation, she took up residence in Birmingham and went to work for an organization that recently funneled $50,000 to the campaign of . . . Luther Strange.

Is this the sort of political back-scratching that grew from a longstanding extramarital affair between Strange and Garrison? Does their relationship go beyond questionable personal ethics to possible violations of campaign-finance laws? What kind of price has Jessica Medeiros Garrison been willing to pay in order to climb the ladder of high-level Republican politics in Alabama?


We sought to put those questions, and more, to both Garrison and Strange. But they did not respond to our requests for interviews.


Some insight, however, comes from a Verified Amended Petition for Modification of Custody filed on August 22, 2011, in Jessica Garrison's divorce from Tuscaloosa city councilman Lee Garrison. (See document at the end of this post.) The parties both lived in Tuscaloosa when the divorce was completed on October 21, 2009, and they reached a custody agreement for their son, Michael Lee Garrison (date of birth, 3/27/07).


Jessica Garrison managed Luther Strange's successful campaign in 2010 and was a partner at the Tuscaloosa law firm of Phelps Jenkins Gibson & Fowler when she accepted the position as Strange's chief counsel in January 2011. The new job, however, presented complications. From her petition for custody modification:



In January 2011, the Mother was offered a once-in-a-lifetime appointment as Chief Counsel and Deputy Attorney General at the Office of Alabama Attorney General, Luther Strange. Her appointment followed her successful work as Luther Strange's Campaign Manager and required that she relocate to Montgomery, Alabama. The Mother duly notified the Father of her change in employment and intended relocation, expecting that given the short driving distance between Montgomery and Tuscaloosa, she and the Father would be able to work out an agreeable arrangement that would allow her to relocate with the child and still permit him generous time with their son. Instead, the Father objected to the relocation and communications between the parties deteriorated. Despite engaging in both therapeutic and formal mediation, the parties were unable to reach an agreement. The Mother never changed her principal residence to Montgomery.

What are the duties of the chief counsel for Luther Strange? The job intended for Jessica Garrison apparently went to former Bradley Arant lawyer Kevin L. Turner, and his LinkedIn profile describes the duties this way:


He serves as the principal adviser to Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange on all legal and administrative matters and is responsible for overseeing the operations of the office.

Turner only has been practicing law since September 2007, so it's hard to see how he is qualified to be principal adviser to the state's chief law-enforcement officer. The same might be said of Jessica Garrison, although she certainly is more experienced than Kevin Turner. Her only experience in a high-level state position came from working as an intern for former Attorney General Jeff Sessions and working in public relations for former Attorney General William H. Pryor.

State law required Jessica Garrison to relocate within 60 miles of Tuscaloosa, and that forced a change in her career plans. From the petition for custody modification:


In an effort to minimize the conflict between the parties and to create a situation that might allow for the kind of compromise the Mother had initially envisioned, she secured alternate employment through the Republican Attorneys General Association [RAGA], effective July 27, 2011, that requires that she reside in Birmingham rather than Montgomery, and she has been hired to serve Of Counsel for the law firm of Balch & Bingham LLP in their Birmingham office. Birmingham, Alabama, is less than sixty miles from the Father's home in Tuscaloosa.


The change in job plans did not alter the close ties between Jessica Garrison and Luther Strange. RAGA is an affiliate of the Washington-based Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC), which has engaged in a number of curious financial maneuvers involving Indian gaming money, Luther Strange, and other high-level Republicans in Alabama. 

We already know about the personal hanky panky involving Jessica Garrison and Luther Strange. We soon will be taking a closer look at their financial connections.


(To be continued)



44 comments:

Anonymous said...

when sneezing in the groin makes babies and there are many that get hurt when the boundaries of swapping spit and bodily fluids get shared, then the acts of this kind of 'animal' need to be carefully examined. can't be trusted.

the photo is 'enlightening' too, however your words LS, reminding the practical rules: 'job description' and 'credentials' so to speak, for being careless crass vile, in family values.

it is about the 'spirit' of the matter, as well as 'flesh'?

Anonymous said...

Several points spring to mind: 1) the RSLC is obviously located in DC and that is Jessica' s business address per their website; so how come she is allowed to live in Birmingham? 2) why did RSLC create this job for her (it did not exist before) 3) what was Luther Strange's role in this unusual arangement?

Robby Scott Hill said...

Luther Strange is not a judge. The State Bar's Disciplinary Committee seems to be on summer vacation & suffering from a vacuum of leadership post Tony McLain's retirement.

Anonymous said...

LS - you should talk to Lee Garrison. I bet he has a lot to say about Luther.

Marky said...

I think @7:13 raises some key questions about RSLC's role in all of this. Why, indeed, does JMG live in Birmingham, and why did RSLC create this new job just for her? I'm picking up a foul smell in my nostrils.

Anonymous said...

Working for Luther Strange is a "once in a lifetime" opportunity? Who knew?

Anonymous said...

Does Jessica Garrison do any work for anybody at this point? She's "of counsel" with Balch & Bingham, but I hear she hardly ever darkens the door there. She wanted to work for AG's office, but that didn't pan out. She supposedly works for RSLC, but is not based at their HQ. What gives?

Anonymous said...

LS: Thought your readers might want to revisit this info from one of your posts back in early May:

"Jessica Medeiros Garrison, who managed Strange's 2010 campaign, started MDM 27 Holdings Inc. in November 2006. Campaign-finance records from the Alabama Secretary of State show that Strange spent $207,015.26 with MDM 27 Holdings, from June 10, 2010, to November 30, 2011.

During roughly the same time period, the Strange campaign paid $33,245.07 directly to Garrison."

Anonymous said...

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but my impression long has been that campaign managers tend to serve a mercenary role. They work for a specific period of time to get a candidate elected, and when the campaign is over, so are their duties. That doesn't seem to be the case with Ms. Garrison. Her ties to Luther Strange have extended well beyond the campaign. Why?

Anonymous said...

Technically, Ms. Garrison works for the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA). Does that make a difference on where where she might be located? Well, I went to the RAGA Web site and clicked on "About Us," and it took me to information about RSLC. It appears the two organizations are pretty much one and the same, and headquarters are in in Washington, D.C.

Anonymous said...

It appears that it is very important to Luther Strange to keep Jessica in Alabama but away from her ex-husband.

Anonymous said...

BTW, guess who is feature front and center on RAGA's Web site at this very moment?


http://www.rslc.com/raga/

Anonymous said...

LS have you been able to have a convo with the cuckolded Lee Garrison? And did you notice that Jessica accuses him of the Ultimate Evil - GAMBLING?

legalschnauzer said...

Anon at 9:44--

Yes, I spoke with Mr. Garrison and will be writing about that in upcoming posts. Yes, JMG goes after him for the evils of GAMBLING, and I think she accuses him in one document of SMOKING. Extramarital affairs, it seems, are fine and dandy, but gambling and the occasional cigarette are to be avoided at all costs.

Anonymous said...

RSLC - Republican Stealing Lee's Consort
RAGA - Republican Augmenting Garrison Alimony

Anonymous said...

Sounds to me like one of the issues here is that Jessica gave up a partnership with Phelps Jenkins firm in Tuscaloosa, which probably paid quite well, to take job with Big Luther. When that didn't work out, Jessica was out of not one, but two, jobs. Is that why RAGA/RSLC rode to the rescue, perhaps at Luther's insistence?

Barb said...

Perhaps Luther understands--in the way that many cheating husbands understand it--that Jessica is likely to start singing if she isn't taken care of financially.

Anonymous said...

LS - not to step on your upcoming story, but does cuckolded Lee Garrison say yea or nay on whether Luther was conducting some informal polling with his wife?

Anonymous said...

Kinda funny Luther supposedly rails against gambling and smoking when his biggest contributors are Poarch Creek Indian casinos and big tobacco.

legalschnauzer said...

Anon at 10:15--

Think I will save that for the upcoming posts. It takes more explaining than I can do in this comment. Plus, I'm still working on that aspect of the story. But I have spoken with him, more than once.

Anonymous said...

Thanks LS. I think I understand this could be a delicate investigation.

Anonymous said...

Five words that make Luther Strange soil himself:

"Luther, you ARE the father!"

Anonymous said...

How is that ambitious women like Jessica Garrison, who want to climb the career/power ladder, come to identify as a Republicans? If conservatives had their way, Jessica Garrison would stay home, baking cookies, and she would have pretty much zero rights in the workplace--she could be fired or discriminated against on a whim. What is it that makes the GOP attractive to these women?

Anonymous said...

Unlike Jim Folsom, many young women enjoy playing tennis at the Mountain Brook Club . . .

Anonymous said...

She did not climb the ladder she climbed into bed with Luther... There is a lot of that in montgomery.

Anonymous said...

Is there actual proof of an affair? I haven't seen a thing several sources said so? Because the family of that young boy both flatly deny it I understand. I guess hard to imply that the boy isn't Lees when he refused to let it move to Montgomery.

Anonymous said...

There are rumors that Luther and his wife have physically separated - LS any info on this?

Anonymous said...

Hey Dude, I believe that Luther Strange is a fine man, indeed. Signed, Charles Manson

legalschnauzer said...

Anon at 12:46--

You are mistaken about both sides of the boy's family flatly denying an affair. In my reporting, neither side of the family has denied it. I've spoken with one key party, and he did not deny it, and the other did not respond to my requests for an interview.

legalschnauzer said...

Anon at 12:52--

I'm not certain about that yet although, like you, I'm hearing those reports. Working on that part of the story.

legalschnauzer said...

Anon at 12:46--

Just a followup: I haven't stated or implied in my reporting that the child is not Lee Garrison's. We've had statements to that effect in the comments section, but that did not come from my reporting.

Anonymous said...

the boy is Lee Garrison's son. All one has to do is see Lee and see the boy and that is clear. I think it's appropriate to drop that line of discussion, it is not fair to the kid and not relevant to the story.

Anonymous said...

So at this point we have a bald allegation from an anonymous source that Garrison is having an affair with Strange, which gets treated as gospel by this blog to the point that she's now identified in the title of posts as "Luther Strange's Mistress." Not "alleged mistress," but "mistress." Sorry, LS, but this isn't anything that resembles journalism; it's a series of smear campaigns fueled by rumor and innuendo. In other words, the Glenn Beck style of "reporting."

Anonymous said...

There is enough circumstantial evidence for an affair that back in an earlier time Luther Strange could have been successfully sued by Lee Garrison for alienation of affection. Large payments at critical dates, heroic efforts to arrange employment (a job that allowed "flexible hours" and "work from home" in the first month on the job - a job created just for her hundreds of miles from every other RSLC employee), dodging of questions and refusals by involved parties to deny the affair along with confirmations by informed parties. This happened and it IS breaking.

Anonymous said...

What's a "bald allegation"? Is that an allegation from Telly Savalas? Isn't he dead?

Anonymous said...

I wonder if @7:27 has any concerns when Fox News cites a confidential informant in a story about the Obama administration's actions in the Benghazi incident.


http://mediamatters.org/blog/2013/04/29/fox-uses-unnamed-source-to-revive-discredited-m/193829

e.a.f. said...

A perponderance of allegations will eventually make a fact. -- old lawyer's proverb.

Now as to whether or not Garrison and Strange are engaging in the horizontal mombo; if they weren't, a reasonable person could conclude Strange would have already sued L.S. At least that is what usually happens in B.C., Canada. Of course, if Luther thought he'd wind up on Wingates docket, he might decide to take a pass.

Anonymous said...

@7:27PM

free to speak has been so damaged that to take time and say what looks like the damage, isn't other than bringing all the picture into the show, and this is indeed the way a great journalist writes.

sour grapes put teeth on edge

stomping on the grapes makes wine and then the alcohol can get a forgetful moment, all back to sleep now nothing interesting here but the whole truth

Anonymous said...

faux spews chews news blues

sellin toe jam football

got no roller coaster

NO rock n sugar time blues

human filth soulless toxic shame

game a play field death embrace

PP

Anonymous said...

FWIW I know one other reporter in the state who has confirmed the extramarital affair through sources close to the participants.

legalschnauzer said...

Anon at 6:34--

Do you know if the reporter plans to report the story?

Anonymous said...

LS I think the reporter who has also confirmed Luther Strange's affair has that story on a backburner for now. I think the reporter is concerned about blowback on other stories.

Anonymous said...

Again, this is compelling and has merit. But it simply reveals LS as a hypocrite. The matter that reaches the level of criminal conduct is LS and his "consulting" with ASU. I am amazed that the media in this state just overlooks this. As a "public official" LS is prohibited from this type of activity. LS has appointed a rogue Public Corruption chief that overlooks the corruption of his own boss. He appoints Matt Hart to head public corruption? The same Matt Hart that has been censured in federal court and is shunned by federal law enforcement and all three US Attorneys for reckless misconduct. Hopefully, the Feds are examining Mr. Strange and his ASU ties, because LS' Public Corruption Chief is too busy chasing Lowell Barron for the same conduct LS has mastered.

Chelsea said...

Great!