|Jessica Garrison and Luther Strange|
Based on at least one published report, the answer to the Garrison question seems to be yes--and that's because of an alleged "secret" involving the attorney general's office, which is conducting the Lee County probe.
Why then has the Garrison file remained sealed, even now that the divorce file of U.S. Judge Mark Fuller has been ordered unsealed in the wake of charges that he beat his wife in an Atlanta hotel room? The recent ruling on the Fuller matter indicates there are no lawful grounds for the Garrison file to remain outside of public view. That is especially the case with the possibility that the file contains information connected to the State House criminal investigation involving Speaker Mike Hubbard and other members of the GOP.
The trial of State Rep. Barry Moore (R-Enterprise) is going on this week in Opelika. It is the first trial to grow from the Lee County investigation, and Moore faces charges of lying to the grand jury and making false statements to prosecutors.
How could the Garrison divorce case have ties to a criminal matter? An August 18 article by Bill Britt at Alabama Political Reporter (APR) shines light on that question.
Britt reports that Kevin Turner, chief deputy to Attorney General Luther Strange, has tried to derail the Lee County investigation by having Special Prosecutor Matt Hart removed from the case. Turner filed what Britt describes as a "bogus" personal complaint in order to have Hart fired or removed from the white-collar crime division. The actions in Britt's report, if proven, come close to the definition of obstruction of justice (in federal law enforcement) or obstructing governmental services (at the state level).
What would cause Kevin Turner to be so bold, desperate, and perhaps stupid? Britt suggests it's because Turner holds a "secret" over his boss' head. From the Britt article:
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 seemly 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.
Where does Jessica Medeiros Garrison fit into this picture? She managed Luther Strange's 2010 campaign, which would have more or less made her Kevin Turner's supervisor at the time. Any "dirty secret" that Kevin Turner has on Luther Strange, probably would be known to Garrison.
What's the nature of this secret? Is it personal, professional, political, financial--a combination of all the above? We don't know, but Garrison's divorce case ended in October 2009, and a related child-custody case went into 2011--all in the general time frame of the 2010 campaign for attorney general.
Could the sealed Garrison divorce file include information about the secret? It certainly could, and if so, that means it's relevant to the Lee County investigation--and Kevin Turner's actions that appear to be unethical (at best) and maybe criminal (at worst).
While citizens await news of more possible arrests in the Lee County case, they should demand that Jessica Medeiros Garrison's divorce file be unsealed.
One member of the AG's staff, Sonny Reagan, already faces disciplinary action for allegedly leaking grand-jury information. Perhaps Kevin Turner's actions merit disciplinary action, as well.