|Luther Strange and wife, Melissa in a campaign ad|
The chief of staff to Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange is trying to derail a corruption probe of House Speaker Mike Hubbard, former Governor Bob Riley and his children, and more, according to a new report at the Alabama Political Reporter.
Bill Britt reports that Chief of Staff Kevin Turner is leading an in-house plot to have chief prosecutor Matt Hart removed from the case. Turner, who used to be at the Bradley Arant law firm in Birmingham, is holding a secret over Strange's head as leverage to get Hart off the case, Britt reports.
A secret involving Luther Strange? What on earth could that be? Perhaps we will know shortly, but for now, we have this from Bill Britt:
Sources from both within and outside of the Attorney General’s Office have confirmed that Luther Strange’s Chief Deputy, Kevin Turner, is orchestrating a plot to remove chief prosecutor Matt Hart from the Lee Country Grand Jury investigation. In this latest effort, it is said that Turner has devised a plan whereby a “personnel compliant” has been lodged against Hart.
“He is trying to poison Hart’s relationship with Luther,” said one individual with knowledge of the inter-working of the Attorney General’s Office.
According to two individuals closely aligned with the AG’s office—who wish to remain nameless—the complaint against Hart has been filed with Charla G. Doucet, Chief of the Attorney General’s administrative division. This bogus complaint is the first step in an administrative process to have Hart reassigned or fired from his position as Chief of the white collar crimes division.
The latest internal coup against Hart is believed to be the result of political pressure from Hubbard, along with former Gov. Bob Riley.
Britt writes that Bob Riley is in full damage control over information that has led investigators to his children, Minda Riley Campbell and Rob Riley. Britt outlines Minda Riley Campbell's ties to Hubbard's business and political interests. Multiple reports have linked Rob Riley to Poarch Creek Indian gaming funds that were funneled to the Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC). Even GOP insiders suggest that transaction was unlawful, and the case has made national news, with coverage from Bill Moyers. The brewing scandal also shows signs of derailing Republican Ed Gillespie's run for a U.S. Senate seat in Virginia, all because of Gillespie's strong ties to the RSLC and Indian gaming money.
As for the secret that Kevin Turner is holding over Luther Strange, here is what Britt writes about that:
Inside the Attorney General’s Office, the effort to sabotage the Grand Jury, by eliminating Hart, is thought to be the work of Strange’s closest ally, Turner.
The seemingly unbreakable bond between Strange and Turner is rumored to be based on more scandalous motives, and not mere loyalty. As Strange’s driver and body man during the 2010 campaign for AG, there is speculation that Turner holds a dirty secret over his boss' head. Whatever the reason may be for Strange’s particular loyalty to Turner, there are more than a few questions raised by Turner’s recent actions against Hart.
Hmmm, Kevin Turner's dirty secret apparently originated with Luther Strange's 2010 campaign for AG? Who was involved in that campaign, at the top level? What could the secret possibly be?
We seem to recall that the job of chief counsel and principal advisor to Strange originally was slated for someone else, but she was forced to step aside--and more or less the same job went to . . . Kevin Turner.
What's going on here? I would say Bill Britt is sniffing into a potentially explosive story.